Growing Through Difficulties
Now as they spoke to the people, the priests, the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees came upon them, being greatly disturbed that they taught the people and preached in Jesus the resurrection from the dead. And they laid hands on them, and put them in custody until the next day, for it was already evening. However, many of those who heard the word believed; and the number of the men came to be about five thousand. Acts 4:1-4
We are each bombarded with struggles, trials, and tribulations. There are numerous difficulties that we face each day. Sometimes we slip and fall, but sometimes we overcome these trials. Hopefully, as we grow in our knowledge of God’s word and mature as Christians we will fall less often and overcome more and more.
As we overcome the traps laid for us and pass the tests we encounter we will grow stronger. We will become better and wiser Christians. Attributes, like patience, that we, as Christians, need to have will increase (James 1:2-3). And if we continue to endure through the difficulties that come upon us, we will receive the crown of life (James 1:12).
But there is more that can grow than just our personal spiritual strength.
In the above passage in Acts, Peter and John had been preaching about Jesus. As they were speaking the word of God, Peter and John were arrested. Obviously this was a difficult time for them. And yet, while they faced a difficult time there was some major growing that would take place.
Even though Peter and John were placed under arrest the church continued to grow. In verse 4, we read that the number of men that believed came to be five thousand. Even in difficult times God’s kingdom continued to grow.
In Acts 8:1-4, we read of the church receiving a great persecution and the Christians being scattered. But while they were being scattered they continued to preach the word - they continued to push for growth of the Kingdom.
When we face adversity, we need to personally grow stronger and more mature while still marching forward, spreading God’s word and trying to plant the seeds of truth so that our spiritual family will grow larger and stronger.
-- John Thrower Jr.