And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord, and as many as were appointed to eternal life believed. And the word of the Lord was spreading throughout the whole region. But the Jews incited the devout women of high standing and the leading men of the city, stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and drove them out of their district. But they shook off the dust from their feet against them and went to Iconium. And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit. (Acts 13:48-52 ESV)
There is an incomparable joy that Christians experience when they are completely aligned with God and fulfilling the work that he has given them. The results of their efforts are celebrated whenever another person devotes himself to Jesus. Persecution, scoffing, and punishment won’t discourage them because they understand the eternal impact of proclaiming God’s word. These negative experiences actually inspire God’s people because Jesus said, “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account” (Matthew 5:11). The opposition they face is the evidence that the Lord is working and that they are operating in his will.
Exercising love and goodness out of gratitude for what God has done for them is their way of life. They see what is broken and work to mend it with prayer, comfort, and encouragement. They give people hope in moments when hope cannot be found. Watching the hand of God transform lives becomes their delight because they know greater days lie ahead for those who believe and trust in him.
So let us begin each day with a new sense of adventure, knowing that the Holy Spirit will guide us through the work he has for us. May he give us eyes to see and ears to hear, so that we may continue to follow his direction for today.