“They praised God because of me”.
Gal 1:24 GNB
Not all of us find it easy to rejoice in the good news of others’ success or achievements. We cherish our own – and often magnify them out of all proportion. We secretly gloat when others fail and silently tell ourselves that they deserve to.
The Christian religion posed a serious threat to the religion of the Jews once the momentous events of Pentecost were over and the apostles started moving out to spread the gospel. And many of the people converted at Pentecost went to their home towns and cities to form church fellowships there and these groups started to draw Jews away from their synagogues. This threat spurred opposition from the Jews and bitter rivalries developed. Paul was one of the chief Jewish persecutors. So when news got out that he had converted to the Christian faith and was now preaching instead of persecuting there was a mixture of skepticism and joy. The joy grew and as time passed more Christians accepted the wonderful news. Then as the persecution eased off, the Christians in and around Jerusalem praised God for him. His turnaround was an amazing act of God and his dedication to the cause of Christ was something to praise God for. Still more was to come when he went round on his missionary journeys.
Try to get over any hesitation you might have in supporting some new Christian who has come to faith from doubt or disbelief. Praise God for their repentance and their decision to believe in Christ. Celebrate the grace of God at work in their hearts and the fruit of his presence in their witness to him. Don’t be afraid to be positive.
Lord, help me to rejoice in the good news of others.