Should We Expect the Unexpected?

Biblical Authority Devotional: Acts of the Apostles, Part 4

by Jeremy Ham on September 1, 2011

Jeremy Ham, AiG–U.S., reminds us that we must rely on God’s guidance rather than trusting in our own plans.

Then the word of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith. (Acts 6:7)

Today’s big question: should we expect the unexpected?

No matter what role believers have in the church—the body of Christ—we all are in ministry whether we realize it or not. God has not called us to sit on the sidelines, so we each have our part to play in the church. As we work to fulfill that calling, we will likely encounter many twists and turns we would have never foreseen. There are many instances in Scripture where this can be observed.

In Acts 6:2–3, the apostles provided a solution to the dilemma of how to accomplish the additional task of serving tables. They needed to delegate the job because they were dedicated “to prayer and to the ministry of the word” (Acts 6:4). So several godly men were selected to handle this important role.

This “complaint against the Hebrews by the Hellenists” could have resulted in disaster (Acts 6:1). However, not only was it resolved, but God also used this problem to spread the message even further. Today’s verse tells us that the number of disciples increased greatly. Not only that, but a “great many of the priests were obedient to the faith.” What an amazing result! Some of the most faithful followers of the Jewish religion became believers. Yet these types of results could become commonplace if every Christian would step up and fulfill his or her calling in the church, thus freeing up other members who currently must do too much to compensate for those on the sidelines.

The apostles relied on the Lord through much prayer and study of the Word. In fact, before the men were sent to do their role in the ministry, the apostles prayed for them (Acts 6:6). They realized God was in control of the situation, and He guided their paths because they followed Him.

We only see a tiny part of God’s plan, whereas He sees the big picture. His ways are higher than our ways (Isaiah 55:9), and through each problem or difficulty we face, we must rely on God to be our guide and source of wisdom. When we acknowledge God in everything we do, there is no need to worry about the future since He will see us through.

If we do things in our own power, you will see a pretty consistent and disappointing outcome. However, when God is our source of strength, you never know what might happen. Being involved in the ministry of the Lord should be exciting. There may be “down times,” but we have our joy and hope in God. So let us be shining lights and spread the good news.

Today’s big idea: follow God, and He will see us through.

What to pray: ask God to help you remember the ministry is His and not our own.


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