My philosophy and understanding of God used to be very simplistic and superstitious. I didn’t really understand His will and His ways. I thought ‘everything always works out fine’, so long as you are following Him. That just isn’t the case. Not everything that happens is God’s will. But, He can superintend nearly everything for ultimate good and His glory. This is the case with Stephen who exercised simple faithful obedience to God and it led to something bigger, much bigger. He agreed to coordinate the feeding of widows and before he knew it, he was arguing the truth of the gospel and the story of Jesus with people who attacked and killed him. He becomes the first martyr of the Church. Its a tragedy on the surface. But wait, there is something God-honoring. He will forever be known for the grace and power of God that was evident in him.
And Stephen, full of grace and power, was performing great wonders and signs among the people. But some men from what was called the Synagogue of the Freedmen, including both Cyrenians and Alexandrians, and some from Cilicia and Asia, rose up and argued with Stephen. But they were unable to cope with his wisdom and the Spirit by whom he was speaking. Then they secretly induced men to say, “We have heard him speak blasphemous words against Moses and God.” And they stirred up the people, the elders, and the scribes, and they came up to him and dragged him away, and brought him before the Council. They put forward false witnesses who said, “This man does not stop speaking against this holy place and the Law; for we have heard him say that this Nazarene, Jesus, will destroy this place and change the customs which Moses handed down to us.” And all who were sitting in the Council stared at him, and they saw his face, which was like the face of an angel. Acts 5:8-15
Do I get discouraged when opposition to the gospel or my kind acts comes my way? Have I realized that God is still real and present even when bad things happen?
God, as this day begins- I trust there will be plenty of good moments. But, should difficulty come my way, help me realize You are still upon the throne and able to redeem nearly anything. I will therefore walk in humble confidence reaching out and loving others in Your name. That is how I will demonstrate grace and power!