22 strengthening the souls of the disciples, encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God.
Have you ever been watching TV and come across a preacher where his message is that if you just let Jesus into your heart that everything will be ok? Follow Jesus and you will get that job you want. Follow Jesus and you will get that wife or husband you want. Follow Jesus and you will get all the money one you want. In light of scripture, I often wonder how honest that message is. Today’s verse reminds us that following Jesus doesn’t always make this life posh and comfortable. Sometimes it’s hard.
For a little context, in the verses prior to this one Luke records that the Apostle Paul had been stoned, that is the people he was preaching to tried to kill him by pelting him with rocks. They stoned him to the point where the crowd thought he was dead. Then they drug his lifeless body outside of the city and left him there. Luke goes on to record that as the fellow disciples that were with Paul went to get him he regained consciousness. Do you know what Paul did next? He took a night to sleep it off and the next morning he gathered the crew together and went to the next town to preach the good news of Jesus Christ to another group of lost souls.
In the context of Paul’s actions, what does this verse reveal to us? It suggests a couple things. First we must encourage one another to continue in the faith. I’m afraid that too often we compare our walk with others and find satisfaction when we are farther down the road than the next person. We have to encourage and allow ourselves to be encouraged. Second, we need to recognize that following Jesus isn’t always big smiles and sandy beaches. We need to commit ourselves to dependency on Jesus. We have to understand that no matter what happens Jesus still bled for us so that at the end of this life no matter how difficult it may have been we will take our place in eternity. The place that has been prepared for us by the Father where there will be no more tribulation, no more pain, no more hurt. All that will remain will be the glory of a wonderful God and the King of Kings on the throne. That is the promise of the Gospel.
Be encouraged today Christian. Continue in the faith. Hold each other up. Pray for one another and hold fast to the image of your King!
Heavenly Father, thank you for your goodness. Thank you God that in every trial and storm you are there. Strengthen your people today God. Remind us that the goal is not the good life but rather the life eternal. Help us be well-springs of your good news and help us be mindful of those not yet seated at your table. Empower us to suffer for your name. We offer praise to you! In Jesus’ name, Amen.