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The Lord has a way of turning around the most difficult situations for our good. Pessimists think their circumstances are the worst possible because they believe that the bad usually is weightier than the good. Fatalists think that their bad situation is the way it is going to be forever and nothing is going to change it. Most think things are going to get worse.
However, in this passage we see one example of how the Lord wants us to believe that He can turn around the most desperate situation for the good of every obedient believer.
Application: Ask God to help you to be more optimistic while believing He will somehow turn things around with His sovereign power for what is best. Ask God to help you out of your ruts of unbelief.
2. The apostles might have had human reasons to feel pessimistic, but they pressed ahead for Christ‚s purposes. The church experienced terrible persecution with no legal, health or economic protection to shelter them from disaster.
Many people put in that situation would quickly become pessimistic or fatalistically resigned to defeat not the apostles.
Application: Ask the Lord to teach you how to rejoice even in sorrowful conditions. God promises to turn all things around for good - in all conditions.
3. The apostles were in intimate relations with the Lord Jesus who had turned around the worst situations for good. When we know Jesus Christ and are in an abiding relationship with Him we will remain confident in His promise to do remarkable things with His irrepressible Spirit
Application: Ask the Lord to help you to stay in such close communion with Jesus that you can remember His overcoming example.
4. The apostles had witnessed how God had turned around Saul of Tarsus as one of Christ‚s greatest advocates. Remember how the Lord turned around many great people throughout church history to demonstrate His creative transformations.
Trust the Lord to help you to follow the faith, teaching and example of those who have experienced a great turn around in their lives and ministries.
Application: Thank God for all the ways He has turned around bad things into good even in your own experiences. God is in the business of turning people from the worst to first Ų like the apostle Paul.
5. The Lord turned around the church in all Judea and Galilee and Samaria so it enjoyed peace and was built up. (Acts 9:31) The Lord is capable of using all kinds of adversity to bring revival and growth to the local church.
Application; Ask the Lord to help you find those strategic turning points where your church and members can experience Godís power to turn their lives toward a brighter path.
6. God helps us turn our negative thoughts to positive expectations through the Spirit that lives within us. The church experienced terrible persecution, violence, conspiracy, and suspicion, dispersing and then suddenly, out of the blue, Jesus turns things around.
Application: Christ is a change agent and that is how His Spirit helps us view everything. Ask the Lord to help you start to expect how He will turn things around for the best instead of fretting about the worst.
7. God has turned things around in the Soviet Union, in Korea and throughout the mission fields
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