Mission and Suffering

May 14 2023

Book: Acts

Scripture: Acts 4:1-4, 18-31

The disciples quickly experience external opposition and hostility for their faith. The religious establishment is anxious about the threat to their power and influence and tries to intimidate the disciples and hinder the spread of the gospel. But the apostles boldly and courageously move forward in mission, and the prayer of the disciples is not for comfort or safety or security, but for boldness to continue joining God in the mission of the gospel. God takes holy delight in such lives of costly mission, and his pleasure is manifested in the shaking of the place’s foundations. As followers of Jesus, we are called to more than a life of security and status; there is no greater joy than joining God in mission, despite the risks and the costs. Our lives and prayers ought to be spent for that end. When we open ourselves and our prayers to God’s purposes in mission, it feels like you’re not in control, and yet you can see God clearly in control and working all around you. Suffering will be intrinsic to such a life as it challenges and overturns the things that the world lives for. Throughout the book of Acts, we see God sovereign over suffering and persecution and even using it in ways beyond human imagination to fulfill his purposes.