Adversity

Read Acts 5:15-40

Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than human beings! The God of our ancestors raised Jesus from the dead—whom you killed by hanging him on a cross. God exalted him to his own right hand as Prince and Savior that he might bring Israel to repentance and forgive their sins. We are witnesses of these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.” (Acts 5:29-32 TNIV)

You never know how you will handle adversity until you are faced with it. I think most of us like to believe that when faced with a seemingly insurmountable challenge that we would respond with the same kind of confidence and boldness that we see in our favorite action heroes… or that we see in Peter and the other Apostles in this text. Often, how we handle adversity can reveal something about who we are and how secure we are in our identity.

In this text a couple things are clear. 1) Peter and the others know exactly who GOD is. They have seen God face-to-face in Jesus and in the face of threat, they proclaim who they know God to be through Jesus. 2) They know who THEY are. In knowing Jesus, they discovered their own identity as well. They are children of God… members of the royal family. 3) Because they know who GOD is through Jesus, and in knowing God they know who THEY are, OBEDIENCE is not an option. They don’t obey out of obligation or requirement, they obey out of IDENTITY. What they do, even in the face of adversity, is simply the natural expression of who they are.

I don’t know what today will bring. Life has this way of hurling the unexpected at us. Whatever comes at us, we can face it with confidence. We don’t have to back down, we simply follow the lead of those who have gone before us. We too are children of God. Who God is and who we are in Jesus leads us to life… even in the face of adversity.

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