Sunshine on a Cloudy Day

Posted: November 2, 2019 in Meditations
aerial photo of city

Photo by Deva Darshan on Pexels.com

The apostles stood before a seething Sanhedrin, the supreme group of religious leaders in Palestine. The new cult of Christ followers was growing daily. Unless the establishment moved quickly to suppress these radicals, they might lose the people and incur the wrath of Rom. Threats and jailings proved fruitless. We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name. Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined try make us guilty of this man’s blood. Acts 5:28 Peter, the spokesman for the apostles replied, We must obey God rather than men.” Acts 5:29

No seat of power ever wants to hear these words. We see it in our own country, the assault on conscience in the courts. China, under the Maoist strongman Xi Jinping, crushes religious dissent. Christians in Iraq and Syria are obliterated. Atrocities rage in Asia, the Middle East and Africa. The World pay little attention, wildebeests grazing a hundred feet away from lions devouring one of their own. You and I could be next.

The Sanhedrin moved to kill the apostles immediately. The revered teacher Gamaliel spoke up, Leave these men alone! Let them go! For if their purpose or activity is of human origin, it will fail. But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God. Acts 5:38, 39 The blood of countless martyrs over centuries speaks truth to these words. We draw inspiration from their stories. And we all ask ourselves the same question, “Will I stand to the death, or will I deny my Lord to save myself and my family?” No matter what the cost, remember this, we are not alone, we are never alone.

The Sanhedrin accepted the sage advice of Gamaliel. A flogging, then freedom, The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name.” Acts 5:41 The first verse of an old Temptations song, My Girl, says:

I’ve got sunshine on a cloudy day

When its cold outside I’ve got the month of May

Well I guess you’d say

What can make me feel that way?

Of course the Temptations are singing about young love – not persecution! But the rejoicing of these men, bodies screaming in pain from a horrific beating, illustrates the consuming love between disciples and their Lord Jesus Christ. What can make them feel that way? Transformation (Romans 12:2), the presence of the Holy Spirit, God’s love at work – that’s what radiates sunshine on a cloudy day.

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