In Acts 1:6-7 the disciples asked the risen Christ legitimate questions about the future, but his response was:
6 So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
I’m sure that’s not what they were looking for. Some of them might have said to themselves “well thanks Jesus, we followed you for 3 years believing that you would restore Isreal to a kingdom status and you’re still only giving us bits and pieces”.
This passage reminded me that at times we ask God reasonable questions, seemingly vital to our sanity. Are you going to help us? Give us a clue? What is your ultimate plan? Let us in on this one. Still, Christ only told them the immediate things they needed to know and do. He didn’t tell them everything — and yet he did. He sidestepped their question and went straight to what they actually needed for their coming role in the world
You will receive power.
They needed his strength, gifts, and ability to spread the gospel and go through their own struggles while He transformed their lives into his image. And that’s it isn’t it?
Often I hear Christians who read scriptures about power and focus, like Simon the sorcerer, on something everyone can see. After all, shouldn’t we do things to amaze and convert like in the Book of Acts? Let’s show them that we can perform miracles, prophecy future events, go to church and kiss the coronavirus on the forehead and not be harmed. We’ll show those unbelievers!
On the contrary, our power is living our lives according to God’s word and having peace in the midst of confusion. Strength comes by using our gifts to be Jesus’ hands, feet, and heart in times of crisis. Sound mundane? Less than spectacular? Consider that the ability to endure, and make it through trouble is something few have the patience for. One of the fruits of the spirit is PATIENCE. The ability to wait and see. Less talk and more prayer. This pandemic will definitely try our patience.
Inner peace and patience are prized possessions (yes more than toilet paper and hand sanitizer). Having God’s peace in a time of trouble has stellar, black-market value.
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. John 14:27( ESV)