And the next sabbath day came almost the whole city together to hear the word of God. But when the Jews saw the multitudes, they were filled with envy, and spake against those things which were spoken by Paul, contradicting and blaspheming. Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles. For so hath the Lord commanded us, saying, I have set thee to be a light of the Gentiles, that thou shouldest be for salvation unto the ends of the earth. And when the Gentiles heard this, they were glad, and glorified the word of the Lord: and as many as were ordained to eternal life believed. And the word of the Lord was published throughout all the region. But the Jews stirred up the devout and honorable women, and the chief men of the city, and raised persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them out of their coasts. But they shook off the dust of their feet against them, and came unto Iconium. And the disciples were filled with joy, and with the Holy Ghost.
Jealousy is a green-eyed monster. We can usually see it clearly on another person but turn that accusation against ourselves and we can make all kinds of excuses for it. As a musician, it is almost part of the trade…one musician against another because of their talents. I hate that part of musicians. I teach my students to do well and to keep their head down and just pay attention to their own progress and to praise the Lord for others’ progress. I pray that I demonstrate that to them through my own life. Anyway…
Paul and Barnabas returned to the Pisidia Antioch the next Sabbath to receive the lovely jealous Jews. How dare they include Gentiles in their holy heritage! Paul and Barnabas explained that since they treated God’s plan of eternal life with such disdain, God offered His plan to the Gentiles who gladly accepted it for their own. The Gentiles were thrilled, and the gospel spread like wildfire. The unbelieving Jews were furious, declared them and worked with “devout women and wealthy men” to get Paul and Barnabas thrown out of the city. Paul and Barnabas “shook it off” and travelled to Iconium filled with joy from the Holy Spirit.
In the midst of trial, you can be filled with joy. I know that sounds strange, but if your foundation is built on the approval of men, you will be messed up. You cannot please everyone, but you can please God. He is the only One Who matters and the only One Who can bring joy in the midst of trial. Where does your foundation lay? How is your joy?
Written by Kaye Dee Richards. Kaye Dee lives with her husband Colin in Morrison, CO. They have 4 children, Joshua, Amelia, Victoria, and Julia.
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