The priests and the captain of the temple guard and the Sadducees came up to Peter and John while they were speaking to the people. They were greatly disturbed because the apostles were teaching the people, proclaiming in Jesus the resurrection of the dead. They seized Peter and John and because it was evening, they put them in jail until the next day. But many who heard the message believed; so the number of men who believed grew to about five thousand. – Acts 4:1-4
Upon recently reading these verses in my bible, the idea of risks came to my mind. These priests held special influence, while the captain of the temple guard was the leader of the guards who were stationed around the temple to ensure order, and the Sadducees were a powerful Jewish religious sect. This religious sect did not believe in the resurrection of the dead. All three groups of people were a part of the ones that carried out Jesus’ arrest and crucifixion. No doubt Peter and John knew this.
Peter and John were, I am sure, completely aware of the risks they were taking by sharing and teaching the people about Jesus and the resurrection of the dead. Yet, the Good Lord placed it on their hearts to do so. No matter the risks and outcomes, it was Peter and John’s calling. And guess what? They were arrested! They followed the Lord’s calling, took a risk, and suffered the repercussions. But, because of that risk, the number of men grew to about five thousand!
You see, nothing done for God is ever wasted!
Has God placed something on your heart to do? Is it something a bit daunting? Something you feel might be risky to do? Now, I know that most likely whatever it is that the Lord wants you to do won’t run the risk of going to jail. But maybe the risk is rejection or persecution? I would like to share with you something I did for a friend quite a while back.
Now, I won’t go into details about the situation, but my friend was struggling. They were going through a rough time in their life, and it hurt my heart to know it. I wanted to reach out to them in some way, letting them know that I was there for them, but I just didn’t know a way how to. So I prayed and took it to God. God answered me through my sister… and he placed something heavy on my heart by it. This something was a risk, let me tell you!
You see, God wanted me to send my friend a letter… This letter contained a certain amount of funds. God laid it on my heart exactly how much. Now, my friend was not struggling financially. I did not know why God wanted me to send this gift, it honestly wasn’t the answer I wanted. And I knew I would run the risk of insulting my friend with this letter/gift… It was a fear of mine that I would, especially with what I was led to write in the letter. I did not know how they would respond or react. I did not know what to expect in following God’s guidance. But I followed it nonetheless.
My friend, upon receiving my gift, blew me away. You see, this friend of mine has such a wonderful and Godly soul. My friend is a wonderful human being! Even amongst all their struggles, they go out of their way to help others. They informed me that what I sent them, was exactly the same amount they sent to someone else they knew was struggling financially.
God did two things when guiding me to send the risky letter to my friend. I wanted to show my friend that I was there for them. A few weeks after sending that letter, my friend gave me a letter in return. They let me know that they were blessed by me. So I know God’s guidance, even though it wasn’t the way I expected to be answered, answered my prayer request. I was there for my friend. But what God also did was help another person who was struggling.
If I did not take that risk in following God’s guidance, my friend wouldn’t have felt blessed by me, nor would I have indirectly helped another. If Peter and John would not have taught the people in the verses above, the number of believers would not have reached five thousand.
What risk are you faced with? Is it imprisonment like Peter and John? Insulting a friend like me? Maybe you run the risk of upsetting someone or being rejected. Let me tell you right now, those risks are nothing compared to if you don’t act on God’s calling.
Whatever the risks, nothing done for God is ever wasted!