Go and . . . tell the people everything about this life.

Imagine that you are one of the apostles sitting in that jail cell. What would you do when the angel shows up, unlocks the door, and leads you to freedom? Would your first instinct be to get as far away from the city as possible? Would you hide from the authorities and try to stay out of the public eye? That would seem to be the most natural response, wouldn’t it?

But that’s not what happens in this story. None of the apostles hide. Instead, they follow the angel’s command to go back to the Temple to keep preaching. They didn’t have to do that! They could have concluded that things were getting too dangerous and returned to their old lives. But they chose God’s will over what was easier and safer, knowing full well that they might end up right back in jail again. What a difference from their time hiding in a locked room after Jesus’ death! Freed from prison and from their fears, the apostles trusted that God would continue to deliver them and answer their prayers.

Most of us have never had an angel show up to solve a problem for us. Still, God does sometimes answer our prayers in a way that can seem miraculous. An illness clears up overnight. A new job comes through against all odds. A family conflict is resolved simply and peacefully. Surely these are causes for celebration! But there are other times when the burden isn’t lifted, and all we can do is keep trying our best to please the Lord.

The apostles knew this to be true. Because as amazing as the miracle of the apostles’ release from prison is, they didn’t always experience such wondrous deliverances. In fact, each of them was either martyred or died in prison.

God’s ways will always be a mystery to us. But there is one thing we can always count on: no matter what our situation, he will always call us to “tell the people . . . about this life” (Acts 5:20). And he will always provide the opportunities—and the grace—to fulfill that call. Whether we are speaking with our lips, through our actions, or in our prayers, we can proclaim the good news wherever we go.

“Jesus, help me to tell everyone about the life of freedom and joy you are offering them!”

Acts 5:17-26
Psalm 34:2-9
John 3:16-21


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