1. When most people are faced with pressure, adversity or hardships they tend to become angry or give into their fears ö not the apostles. The apostles were arrested and asked, "By what power or by whose authority have you done this?" (Acts 4:7) Instead of losing self-control, the apostles remained under the power of the Holy Spirit. The first key to keeping a cool head is to praise the Lord for the way the Spirit gives you the fruit of self-control. Those who enjoy this fruit are known to be calm under pressure, steadfast during discouragement, and trusting that the Lord will use every situation for what is best. Ask the Lord to help you to turn all the controls over to the leading of Holy Spirit when you are tempted to become hot under the collar. A believer with the fruit of self-control has the discipline to remain cool.
2. The apostles remained calm under attack because they were obedient to Christâs authority more than any other. When a person knows that they are under the controlling authority, power and purposes of Jesus Christ they have nothing to fear or to grow angry about. He is greater than any problem, person or pressure that we will ever face. Trust the Lord to help you move forward with the confident authority you enjoy in Jesus Christ.
3. The apostles rejoiced that they had been worthy to suffer shame for His name. Thank God for the privilege you have in being identified with Christ and His purposes. Remember Moses, "Choosing to suffer affliction with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin. Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward." (Heb. 11:25,26) Keep fixing your hope on the grace that is coming to you through Christ. Otherwise, you might fall into the Esau trap and find you self with empty bowl of soup while sacrificing eternal benefits. Ask God for help in making wise choices.
4. The apostles found greater unity, support and blessings by being unified with the people of God as a result of their coolness under pressure. Notice that when they were released they found greater unification with all the believers as a result of their suffering. Being unified does not necessarily mean that believers have to be uniform in their experiences. God knows that some people are not able to bear up under some severe temptations. The Lord meters out the exact kind of pressure that He knows each individual can bear. Ask the Lord to help you find greater unity, support and blessing through the unity that comes with other Christ like servants of God.
5. The apostles realized that we should expect trials, adversity and difficulties as we grow in Christ-likeness. Paul wrote, "For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake." (Phil. 1:29) Do not think it strange when you are going through trials. Be assured that your trials are working to develop in you a faith that is far more valuable than gold. Trust the Lord to help you expect adversity along with a richer faith. (2 Pet. 1:6,7)
6. The apostles learned that suffering is something that helps expose areas of deficiency in our character. No one is perfect and we all can learn something as a result of every trial.
7. The apostles knew that pressures, attacks and hardships are a way that God teaches us greater discernment into His will. Trials are often the food for our faith. Ask God to help you learn better ways to perceive all the attitudes, services and ministries you can render for Godâs greater glory.
8. The apostles knew that it is occasionally better to allow themselves to be persecuted since some battles are not worth fighting. Paul wrote to the squabbling Corinthians, "Actually, then, it is already a defeat for you, that you have lawsuits with one another. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be defrauded? On the contrary, you yourselves wrong and defraud, and that your brethren." (I Cor. 6:7,8) Keep in mind the greater reputation of Christ, the church and the harmony of your relationships. Ask God to help you keep the greater good in mind instead of always fighting for every supposed individual right.
9. The apostles saw greater qualitative and quantitative growth of the church as a result of their sufferings. Ask the Lord to use your difficulties for the growth of His church in all ways.