Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.” Even with these words, they had difficulty keeping the crowd from sacrificing to them. Then some Jews came from Antioch and Iconium and won the crowd over. They stoned Paul and dragged him outside the city, thinking he was dead. But after the disciples had gathered around him, he got up and went back into the city. The next day he and Barnabas left for Derbe. Acts 14:17-20
Are you a people pleaser? I must admit, most of the time, I’m a people pleaser and often concerned how others view me. Reading these first few verses, we are reminded how inconsistent people can be. One minute they are for you, the next minute they are against you. When people approve of us or agree with us, we feel good. But that can change in a blink of an eye and we must remember we are not here to “please the people.” We are here to please the Lord. It’s a great reminder for me and maybe for some of you, that we can’t put our trust in the “crowd”, we must put our trust in our Heavenly Father – He always has our backs and best interest in mind.
Then there is the faith of Paul. Wow, I don’t think I could be stoned one day and back up the next day preaching the Word of the Lord. But Paul’s faith was way stronger than mine and he grabbed his friend Barnabas and off to Derbe they went to spread the Word of the Lord. Hopefully, none of us will ever be stoned because of our faith, but maybe we can be reminded that anytime doubt starts to creep in, we need to put our fears aside and focus on the Lord and all He has done for us. Praise the Lord!
Father help us to have faith like Paul and to stand up to the “crowds” we face in life. Help us not to put our trust in those “crowds” that we come in contact with, but to put our faith in You, oh Lord, the One who will always support us. Thank you Lord! Amen.