23 On their release, Peter and John went back to their own people and reported all that the chief priests and the elders had said to them. 24 When they heard this, they raised their voices together in prayer to God. “Sovereign Lord,” they said, “you made the heavens and the earth and the sea, and everything in them. 25 You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant, our father David:
“‘Why do the nations rage
and the peoples plot in vain?
26 The kings of the earth rise up
and the rulers band together
against the Lord
and against his anointed one.’
27 Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed. 28 They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen. 29 Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness. 30 Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”
31 After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.
These men had been significantly oppressed. The enemy’s intent was to discourage them. Notice what happened. They were cast into the arms of the Lord. After returning they told the others of what happened and the overwhelming response was to seek the Lord in prayer. They laid out their hearts to the Lord. Therefore, God responded by equipping them, and helping them overcome the enemies tactic. They prayed and then went out boldly proclaiming God!
Often we respond to oppression in our flesh. We become discouraged, disheartened, and depressed. This is evidence that we are ACTUALLY trusting in our flesh. We see the circumstances and are only evaluating it in the realm of what WE can do, thus the reaction. The situation IS impossible for ourselves. The situation IS to dark for ourselves. The disciples had encountered an area where they COULDN’T find hope in themselves. So they sought it in the Lord. THIS should be our response.
God help me to find refuge in You when things get tough. When the world seems to be closing in around me help me to seek refuge instead of questioning You. Keep me from being overwhelmed by the struggles. Keep me focused on You.
Look around you, do you know of believers who are discouraged? Do you know of believers who have given up? Remind someone what God did here! He took a group of men that had just been threatened by the ruling authorities and gave them boldness to preach anyways! Tell someone of God’s great ability.