Acts 5:12-14, 17-20 - Now many signs and wonders were regularly done among the people by the hands of the apostles. And they were all together in Solomon's Portico. None of the rest dared join them, but the people held them in high esteem. And more than ever believers were added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women ... But the high priest rose up, and all who were with him (that is, the party of the Sadducees), and filled with jealousy they arrested the apostles and put them in the public prison. But during the night an angel of the Lord opened the prison doors and brought them out, and said, "Go and stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this Life."
You've probably seen the game Whack-a-Mole. Plastic moles come up out of holes in the game surface, and your job as a player is to whack them on the head with a hammer, forcing them back into their holes. Of course, they never stay gone forever—as soon as you whack one mole, you can count on it coming right back.
The Jewish religious leaders in Jerusalem must have felt like they were playing a game of Whack-a-Mole. First, there was Jesus, healing and teaching and becoming vastly popular with the people. They arrested Him and put Him to death. But now Jesus was back again, in the person of His disciples. They also were teaching and healing, and "the people held them in high esteem. And more than ever believers were added to the Lord, multitudes of both men and women."
What could they do? The same thing they did the first time—they arrested the disciples, just like Jesus. But again, it didn't work. An angel came and opened the doors to their prison, sending them to the temple to start teaching about Jesus again!
It must have been incredibly frustrating for the priests. But I imagine it was rather hard on the disciples as well. They were not idiots. They knew perfectly well that the last time the priests got this jealous of anyone, He wound up crucified.
But it didn't stop them. They continued to teach others about Jesus. How could they do that, when they knew the price they might pay for it? Only in one way—by putting their trust in Jesus, laying the whole weight of their fears on Him.
Most of us don't live under the same sort of persecution the disciples did. And yet sometimes we, too, feel like we are on the receiving end of a Whack-a-Mole hammer. We run into temptation after temptation. Trials afflict us—disease, death, loss of work or home or friendships. Just keeping going as a Christian can sometimes be incredibly hard. We think we're finally getting somewhere, and then BAM! The hammer comes down again.
What can we do in this situation? Exactly the same thing as the disciples did. We can throw our whole weight of trust onto Jesus our Savior—not trying to handle things ourselves, but totally leaning on Him for help. He knows what it is like to suffer and be weary. He loved us enough to die for us. He will certainly help us.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, help me when the troubles of my life become too much. Strengthen me through Your Holy Spirit. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Dr. Kari Vo.
To Download Devotion MP3 to your computer, right click here and select "Save Link As" or "Save Target As" or "Download Linked File As"