When General Colin Powell was about to invade Iraq in 2003, he said, “I had no doubt we would be successful. We had the troops, the weapons, and the plan. What I did not know was how long it would take and how many troops would not be coming home.” To win a war or to achieve other victories in life, it helps to have a purpose, a plan, and confidence to succeed. That is what the early apostles had when they were facing persecution. After Jesus ascended to heaven, the religious leaders tried to stop them from preaching about His resurrection, but the apostles refused to stop; and when they were arrested and tried, their defense was, “We must obey God rather than you.” After this confrontation, they went to their support group, the other believers. There they prayed. In their prayer, they focused on the attributes of God-His unlimited power and control. This increased their faith—They were sure that what was happening was not accidental—They became confident that God was fully aware and controlling what was happening. Then instead of asking God to change the hearts of their persecutors, they asked God for strength to remain steadfast in the midst of their ordeal. So when we face trials, we might do as they did: (1)Stick with God’s people, (2) fortify our faith from God’s word, and (3) trust God’s power for strength to bring us through.
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