Act 8:1-8 (NLT)
A great wave of persecution began that day, sweeping over the church in Jerusalem; and all the believers except the apostles were scattered through the regions of Judea and Samaria. 2 (Some devout men came and buried Stephen with great mourning.) 3 But Saul was going everywhere to destroy the church. He went from house to house, dragging out both men and women to throw them into prison. 4 But the believers who were scattered preached the Good News about Jesus wherever they went. 5 Philip, for example, went to the city of Samaria and told the people there about the Messiah. 6 Crowds listened intently to Philip because they were eager to hear his message and see the miraculous signs he did. 7 Many evil spirits were cast out, screaming as they left their victims. And many who had been paralyzed or lame were healed. 8 So there was great joy in that city.
When God’s hand is upon a people – any people…they can count on Him to pull them through even nasty situations. Persecution was ramping up in earnest, yet God supernaturally was working through His people. In fact, the greater the persecution, the greater the anointing. Signs, wonders and miracles were flowing through God’s people and many were saved. The church was on the run – the enemy thought they were defeated, but everywhere they went people listened and responded to their message and rather than the church diminishing, it flourished. The Resurrected Life causes God’s people to stand tall rather than cower in fear. My prayer for today’s church is that as times get tough, the tough (God’s people) will stand tall, preach the message uncompromisingly and trust in Him to pull them through.