If I had been among the early Chris tians forced to leave Jerusalem because of persecution (Acts 8:1), what would I have said to my new neighbors? Would I have reminisced about how much I missed my home church? Would I have complained about how hard it was on the kids to start over in a new place? Probably!
But there’s no hint of complaint among those displaced believers— only an enthusiastic witness to Christ the risen Lord. After being “scattered throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria,” they “went everywhere preaching the Word” (Acts 8:1,4).
What began in Jerusalem on the Day of Pentecost was not tied to geography, peace, or prosperity. It was the Spirit in them fulfilling Jesus’ promise in Acts 1:8, “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
When God allows difficult circumstances in our lives—a lost job, a demanding family need, a relocation to another city, state, or country—can we see His hand and sense His power? May we be like those early Christians, accepting the Lord’s leading and joyfully proclaiming His Word wherever we are.
The Holy Spirit gives us power
To witness far and wide,
Equipping us to do God's work
And changing us inside. —Sper
The power that compels us comes from the Spirit who indwells us.