"They returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch, strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith. 'We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God.'” – Acts 14:21-22 NIV
It would be hard to imagine a man with greater potential than Charles-Valentin Alkan. Born on this day in 1813, he entered the Paris Conservatory of Music when only five. When just twelve, he dazzled the audience during his debut concert, which included his own compositions. He received first prize in piano and harmony when only thirteen.
But after beginning with all this potential, Alkan dropped out of sight. Instead of fulfilling his God-given potential, he became a recluse. A decisive turning point came when he was overlooked for the position of professor of piano at a conservatory. Offended at this slight and the criticism he received, Alkan withdrew into permanent obscurity.
In various ways, we all may be criticized or ignored. Others may disagree with our decisions or misunderstand our motives. We may not achieve ideal results or the prizes we seek.
When these things happen, we can become angry, bitter, or frustrated. We may withdraw or give up. Instead, we should remember the example set by Paul and Barnabas.
When facing angry crowds, they persevered, continuing to serve God and fulfilling His call on their lives. They told Christians that we shouldn’t be surprised when we experience various obstacles.
Realize that God has given you gifts and abilities and opportunities to use them. He has given you unique assignments. If you face challenges, don’t be discouraged. Ask God for strength. Resolve to be persistent in serving Him.
PrayerFather, help me to be persistent through every situation. I will not be discouraged but will trust in You. Thank You. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Extended ReadingActs 14