Bahan Alkitab: Acts 16: 13-40
Paul and Silas went to Macedonia, obeying Holy Spirit’s guidance. They met Lydia, and spread the gospel to her. She believed, and baptized. However, after Paul and Silas cast demon out from a slave girl, the people there were not happy. They were captured, beaten, and thrown into jail. In the night, as they sing hymns, suddenly there were and earthquake, and their chain were broken. Paul and Silas was free, and the jailer were so scared and about to kill himself. However, Paul and Silas prevented this, and told the gospel to the jailer. He and his household were repented and believed in Jesus.
Even though going to Macedonia was dangerous and unpredictable, Paul and Silas was willing to risk their own life for the gospel. Through them, the Holy Spirit works in the heart of Lydia and the jailer and enabled them to believe in Jesus.
Many years after Paul Silas, the same Spirit works in the heart of John G. Paton. From Scotland, he and his wife traveled to New Hebrides, to spread the gospel to the native people there. The tribes in those island was cannibals, and had killed and eaten two missionaries before. However, the Holy Spirit works in John G. Paton’s heart, and he obeyed Him. Even though his wife and newborn son died of fever a year after, he was not discouraged. John Paton continues to persevere in his work under constant threats and danger. The native tribes in New Hebrides became christians because his obedience. Many years later, Paton’s autobiography influences Jim Elliot, and he went to spread gospel to another cannibal tribes in Ecuador, and died as a martyr there.
What makes these missionaries have the courage and perseverance to go to spread the gospel to these dangerous places? It is the conviction from the Holy Spirit. Will go obey the Holy Spirit too, and spread the gospel to others?
More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.