The Acts of Disciples
They Work Through Troubles – Part V
Scripture Reading: Acts 13:13-52
Key Verses: Acts 13:50-51
Then the Jews stirred up the influential religious women and the leaders of the city, and they incited a mob against Paul and Barnabas and ran them out of town. So, they shook the dust from their feet as a sign of rejection and went to the town of Iconium.
We have been studying the troubles Paul and Barnabas had to work through as they ministered in the town of Antioch. I want to end our month’s study with the last verse of Acts 13:
And the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit. (Acts 13:52)
This verse is not referring to Paul and Barnabas but those that had become followers of Jesus because of Paul’s and Barnabas’s teaching. According to the Pulpit Commentary on this verse: “Nothing can be more beautiful than this description. In spite of the persecution, in spite of the danger, in spite of the banishment of their teachers, the disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Ghost.” (I added the underline for emphasis.)
Yes, a mob ran Paul and Barnabas out of the town, but the results of their ministry were very much still present. Because of their teachings, God filled those that received Jesus as their savior with joy and with the Holy Spirit.
As I have said many times, joy is different from happiness; the Bible never promises us happiness. Joy is that inner sense that all is well with our souls and that sin has no power over our lives.
These disciples were not happy that the Jews were persecuting them, and that their cherished teachers had to leave town. But they had joy. No amount of persecution could take this joy of the Lord from their hearts; it was a peace that the world could not take from them. The Holy Spirit who lived within them confirmed the presence of God in their lives and gave them a joy unspeakable and full of glory!
I hope the message is clear that if you have received Jesus as your Savior, then He has covered your debt of sin and cleansed you from all unrighteousness. I know you have problems to deal with, and always will while on this earth. But let the joy of the Lord fill your heart and mind, as you realize you have a rich and glorious inheritance (Ephesians 1:18).
Do not allow the devil to use your problems to discourage and shame you. Jesus has overcome the world. God has not forgotten you or abandoned you, He is at work making you into the person that He wants you to be. God uses our problems to accomplish His work.
May the peace of God fill your heart and mind!
Father, I praise You for Your joy that is not dependent on happiness in life. Help me to trust Your ways and work as I live out my life. In Jesus’s Name, amen.