Persecution is real, scary and causes problems for the persecuted. Yet, God uses persecution to grow and strengthen his people. If persecution leads to scattering, then the gospel has an opportunity to scatter too. Like a farmer planting a crop, seeds are scattered across the field so that a new crop will grow.
Not only does the good knowledge of Jesus go with the scattered people, but so does his power. Christians are not only equipped with knowledge about Jesus but are also equipped with the very power of Jesus. Living by faith includes the use of spiritual power; the power of God provided to you by the Holy Spirit of God. The same power (the whole package) that was available for Jesus to use is the same power every single Christian has. We just have to believe that and learn to use it.
The power of Jesus was spread into the whole world because the original Church was persecuted in Jerusalem and the Christians were forced to scatter. Their joy of Jesus, their belief that he forgives and saves us from our sins and their trust in his healing power never disappeared. They took it all with them and continued to tell their story.
If persecution causes you to run and hide, then you’re thinking of it in the wrong way. Persecution may cause you to run and get out of town, but as you go look for ways to take the gospel with you. Persecution does not create happy times, but it creates circumstances for the power of Jesus to change people’s lives.
The books of Acts tells of amazing miracles that occurred by simple pronouncement or a gentle touch. Regular people who loved and worshiped God were used by God to bring astounding healing to the sick, the oppressed and even the dead. The first Christians lived by a simple expectation; Jesus saves, Jesus heals, and Jesus empowers. Over the last one hundred years in the American church there has raged a debate as to whether miracles happen today. From the extreme on one end saying miracles ceased when the last book of the Bible was written to the other end that says a miracle happens every time we just say it and claim it. Preachers boldly preach that all claims of modern miracles are fake and other preachers boldly pretend to fake it. What is lost in this debate is a love for one another and the truth that the name of Jesus heals in miraculous ways when our faith and His power meet. There is great power in the name of Jesus!
The power of God exists to make Himself known in ways that a person needs at the exact time they need to know it. The man at the gate called Beautiful in Acts 3 waited his whole life for the power of God to meet him in a personal way. Peter and John came in a humble manner seeking to give the love of God to anyone who needed it and wanted it. They said “Silver and gold I don’t have, but what I have I give to you. In the name of Jesus, stand up and walk!” They gave healing and salvation by the power of God; the same power available to you today. Be a disciple of Jesus and let God show up in whatever way he chooses while you seek to do what he does and love how he loves. Bring salvation and the full loving power of God to everyone who needs it.