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Summary: Why do some people only trust God when they experience terrible hardships? In this passage we are given insights into how a governor of Cyprus was brought to Christ the hard way. His path to faith is symbolic of so many people who seem to prefer to learn

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1. Why do some people only trust God when they experience terrible hardships?

In this passage we are given insights into how a governor of Cyprus was brought to Christ the hard way. His path to faith is symbolic of so many people who seem to prefer to learn the most important lessons in life, the hard way.

The governor employed Bar-Jesus, a false prophet, for protection from spirits. As a result the island was infamous for its lustful immorality and superstitious beliefs. However, when Bar-Jesus tried to oppose Paul, he suddenly met his match. Paul rebuked the false prophet calling him a son of the devil. Then Paul said,

"You son of the devil, you enemy of all unrighteousness, will not cease to make crooked the straight ways of the Lord? And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon you, and you will be blind and not see the sun for a time. And immediately a mist and a darkness fell upon him and he went about seeking those who would lead him by the hand." (Acts 13:10,11)

Application: Occasionally, it is necessary to speak with God’s judgment so everyone can grow in the fear of the Lord. Ask the Lord to help you to be willing to do whatever it takes to foster greater quality and quantity of faith.

2. There are times when you need to call on Godâs vindication. Many of us do not enjoy being the instrument of God’s judgment, but it is occasionally necessary.

Application: Ask the Lord to give you the boldness, tact and wisdom to know the best ways to be a channel of truth ö no more how much it may hurt at the time.

3. God uses preachers of the gospel to bring many casual observers to Christ. Dr. Luke wrote, "The proconsul believed when he saw what had happened, being amazed at the teaching of the Lord." (Acts 13:12)

Application: Be confident that God will multiply your message through direct and indirect means of communication. Ask the Lord to help you to preach and teach the gospel realizing it has multiplying effects.

4. People tend to grow in their faith through the fear or love of God. "Oh fear the Lord you his saints. for to those who fear Him there is no want. The youngs lions lack and suffer hunger but they who seek the Lord will lack not one good thing."

Application: Ask the Lord to help you to be more skilled in both the carrot and the stick styles of motivating people to faith in Christ. The governor and many his people believed in God because they gained a greater appreciation for the His power and truth.


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