So they remained for a long time, speaking boldly for the Lord, who bore witness to the word of his grace, granting signs and wonders to be done by their hands. Acts 14:3
Paul and Barnabas are at the end of their missionary journey. Barnabas has believed in Paul this entire time, even when no one else did, and Paul is proving himself time and time again.
In the beginning of chapter 14 this dynamic duo is in Iconium, although they have success here, there are many people that resist their message. Instead of going somewhere they feel more appreciated, “they remained there for a long time” (Acts 14:3). They don’t give up!
It continues in verse 19, Paul and Barnabas are now in Lystra and Paul heals a crippled man who has never been able to walk. People are amazed and think that the men are gods. When Paul corrects them, they get so upset that they stone him and drag him out of the city. Can you even imagine that? Just when it seems like it’s completely over, the disciples go to help Paul and he gets up, and the next day walks back into the city!
That’s what this whole chapter is about: perseverance in opposition. Like Paul and Barnabas, we too can follow God and persevere even when we don’t think we have the strength to. Even after all this they encouraged fellow believers “saying that through many tribulations we must enter the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22). I pray that we can all have the courage to push through even our hardest tribulations.
The Lord your God is in your midst,
a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing.