Lift Your Voice
And now, Lord, look upon their threats and grant to your servants to continue to speak your word with all boldness, while you stretch out your hand to heal, and signs and wonders are performed through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” And when they had prayed, the place in which they were gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and continued to speak the word of God with boldness. —Acts 4:29-31
How we respond to a crisis is, in large part, determined by what the foundation of our lives is in the midst of such circumstances. In Acts 4, we see how the disciples responded to tough circumstances—they lifted their voices. At the start of a new day, in the midst of a tough situation, these men lifted their voices. When pressure comes, praise serves us best; when worry arrives, worship frees us most. These men hung their lives on praying and praising in light of three simple truths:
1. He reigns.They reminded themselves that He is Master (sovereign Lord), Maker (of all things), and Most (making even the powerful impotent). Crisis is often defined in our life by a loss of control; recognizing that it’s out of our hands. What a comfort that God is Master! He is Maker—everything starts with God and everything finishes with God. He can and will outlast, outdo, outwork, and outfight whoever or whatever comes against those who are His. Just because we get tired, weak, and scared does NOT mean that God does.
2. He wins.People will stand against those who are for Jesus. This should not come as a surprise. Very important people stood against Jesus, His apostles, and the church. Verses 26-28 talk about very important people by human standards, but no one has ever been able to get the better of God. Our common perception is that our problems or certain people have authority to do what they wish to us, but they don’t. Only God does. Strength and peace come when we magnify Christ and not our circumstances. Although these opponents thought they were working out their plan, God was ordering things according to His plan. He did that then, and He does it now.
3. He helps.This is often what we find most difficult to be persuaded of. We don’t think He will, or can, or wants to help. We need to be less full of ourselves if we want to be full of the Spirit. When our lives are shaken, we must realize that only God helps us, only God makes the way possible. And sometimes, only God makes the way through.
As we live by these truths, we will find that praise and prayer bring us peace as it magnifies His faithfulness.
He reigns. He wins. He helps. —Scott Hamilton
· When a crisis comes, what is the very first thing I usually do? Does it usually help the situation?
· What can I do to remind myself to “lift my voice” when a difficult circumstance comes my way?
Prayer: Father, only You can do anything to change the things in my life that are hard. I know that many things that happen are there to help me in the long run, but Lord, help me to cry out to You and receive Your peace and strength for those difficulties that You choose to have me walk through. In Jesus’ name, Amen.