Week 47 Devo – MONDAY

The Church Is Sent to Encourage New Believers

Following Jesus is not without its challenges. Jesus said the world would hate His followers because it hated Him (John 15:18–20). The early Christians in Jerusalem experienced this kind of suffering firsthand. But following Jesus also comes with great joy and fruitfulness. That’s precisely what we see in Acts 11:19–24. As a result of their faithfulness to God in the midst of their trial, “a large number who believed turned to the Lord” (Acts 11:21).

When we remember that the Lord Jesus is in control over all things—including persecution—we realize the Lord is at work even through our suffering. Persecution was the means by which Jesus built His Church, as early Christians who were being scattered took the Gospel beyond Jerusalem. They didn’t use their trial as an excuse, but as an opportunity. Remember that God is able to use challenges as opportunities for His purposes and plans.

How can this story affect the way you think about trials and difficulties in your life?