How to Get in Trouble (Acts 6)

15 And gazing at him, all who sat in the council saw that his face was like the face of an angel. Acts 6:15

As a little boy, my grandfather was a giant in my life. I loved the way he always showed kindness to not only his own grandchildren but to every child that came into his country store. One of his sayings, when he sensed you were about to do something to get in trouble was this: “come over here where you can stay out of trouble.”

In God’s Word Jesus calls us to come over to him where we can get out of trouble: Matthew 11:28-30

The above sounds so amazing, that is until you try to live for Him in a troubled world. You and I have come to Jesus in-order to have peace with God and also the peace of God. But we must admit, this peace is not without trouble.

Let us understand this: the trouble now comes from a different source with a different goal. Trouble comes from our enemy who is Satan. He is the one who desires for our lives to be filled with trouble. Satan’s focus is simply to take us away from the purpose of God in our lives.

We see this in Acts 6 where we read about the beginning of the ministry of the first deacons (servants) of the church. Seven men were chosen to serve the needs of the people so that the Apostles could serve the people through prayer and through teaching the Word of God.

We notice Luke’s description of the seven men who were chosen:

  • They were men who had godly reputations among the people.
  • They were men who were filled with the Holy Spirit.
  • They were men who were filled with the wisdom of God in their daily lives.

One of those seven men was a man by the name of Stephen. God chose to use him in an amazing ministry. Here is what Scripture records about his ministry:

And Stephen, full of grace and power, was doing great wonders and signs among the people

I can see him ministering to the sick and the poor. I can see him praying for and seeing the healing of many people. I hear him sharing the gospel and I can hear the cries of people saying, Lord, save me. I watch in my mind families being restored and demons being cast out.

By the way, this is how a person gets in trouble in a wicked world. The Bible records the activity of Satan in Acts 6. We read about Satan’s filling the religious leaders with jealously. These leaders incite the crowd to participate in a crooked mocked up trial that ends (chapter 7) with Stephen being murdered.

Several questions fill my thoughts:

  1. What kind of world must it have been where people hated those who loved them? We know it was a world filled with darkness.
  2. What possible purpose could God have in allowing Stephen to be murdered? We know the blood of the saints became the seeds of the church. Stephens witness would lead many to follow Jesus.
  3. What type of faith is required to live in dark times?

Some might respond to the last question by saying, we need a faith like Stephen’s. But wait, I am not Stephen and I cannot duplicate anyone else’s life. But here is what I can do:

  • I can evidence a faith that is fully submitted to the Holy Spirit.
  • I can evidence a faith that loves the souls of men.
  • I can evidence a faith that impacts as I serve at the pleasure of our Sovereign lord.

I wrote the following in my journal: “Small faith becomes strong faith when tempered in the fires of adversity.”

I guess my grandfather was right when he said, come over here and get out of trouble. It is Jesus who calls us to come over to Him and to get out of trouble by getting into trouble for the right reasons.

I believe Paul must have understood this through Stephens testimony. Paul later made this strong faith statement:

13 Then Paul answered, “What are you doing, weeping and breaking my heart? For I am ready not only to be imprisoned but even to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.”

I really do not know what trouble you are in today. However, I do know if you are in it for the right reasons, get ready for great things to happen as your faith gets stronger!!!

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