Summary: You’ve got to be made up of sterner stuff to confront the bricks and stones that come like missiles to bombard you! Now, when you get blitzed for your stand for God then the pain is much deeper!
Acts 16:1 “Then he came to Derbe and Lystra. And behold, a certain disciple was there, named Timothy, the son of a certain Jewish woman who believed, but his father was Greek.”
You’ve got to be made up of sterner stuff to confront the bricks and stones that come like missiles to bombard you! Now, when you get blitzed for your stand for God then the pain is much deeper! Come on dear friends, pastors, preachers, youth leaders and church planters! Arise! This message would be an energizer for all those who are suffering for His sake.
After a painstaking session of preparation, fasting, Bible study and preaching at a city called Lystra, one man who was crippled from his mother’s womb gets the message of Paul and has a miraculous healing and he instantly leaped and walked. Sadly, not many comprehended the message of salvation but instead they cried out loudly: "The gods have come down to us in the likeness of men!" Not enough, they gave new names of their gods to Barnabas and Paul, brought oxen and garlands to the gates, intending to sacrifice with the multitudes. This scene I’m sure would have broken the heart of Paul to million pieces. Further, a great riot beaks out in the city because of this commotion and the people stone Paul until the point of death; however, when the disciples gathered around him, he rose up and went into the city. That’s the spirit! Conquerors don’t cave to pressure! Warriors may fall but you cant keep them down forever! Are you there! Let pressure and failure not smother the confidence in you, please note, the Bible says, ‘Paul rose up!’ I just preached this message in our evening service at church today, and I tell you, I feel fire in my bones as I type this portion on my laptop. I feel fire! Let us never, never, never be discouraged by failure! Listen, the meeting that Paul arranged with lot of pain did not get much response, instead there was great mayhem in the city to the point of people stoning him; yet, Paul kept moving forward. Paul returns back to Lystra and strengthens the soul of the disciples there….. Let us drink deep from every bit of this episode!
It is here in this city Lystra that was stinking of idol worship, ignorance and violence lived a young man called Timothy. I guess Timothy was one among those who had been immensely touched by the guts and determination of Paul during his ministry in Lystra, may be he heard his fiery speech, saw his firm stand against idol worship and may be that created a volcanic faith in his heart, later Paul comes back to the city and takes Timothy with him as his disciple.(Acts 16:1) Timothy was a diamond cut out from the dirt of Lystra! Stay firm, your tears, your work and your wanderings would be aptly rewarded!
When I visited a remote village for an evening service, the entire village was stinking of alcohol and not many men were in the meeting arena, they were in the arrack shop, slowly since it was an open air meeting, they strolled in drunk. My heart broke! Not many were interested in what I was about to preach, they just watched me with curiosity. I preached the Second Coming of Jesus without much response! As I walked down the pulpit with a heavy heart, a group of children surrounded me and wanted me to teach them to pray. There was not a single church or prayer group in that village, but this small group of children were instrumental in starting worship in that village. Faint not!
May be you were beleaguered and defeated, but now glow with life and hope!