“Now those who were scattered because of the persecution that arose over Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia and Cyprus and Antioch, speaking the word to no one except Jews…And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number who believed turned to the Lord.” Acts 11:19-21
Learning through Discouragement
In the 400-meter race of the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games, Great Britain’s Derek Redmond snapped his hamstring and dropped to the floor. What transpired next is one of the most moving moments in Olympic history. Redmond arose and began hobbling toward the finish line. Seconds later, he was joined by his father, who had relentlessly fought his way from the stands, past security, and down to the track. They finished the race together, arm and arm, father and son. He did not win a medal, but his perseverance inspired millions.
In Acts 11:19-21, we read about the intense persecution the early Christians were experiencing. Instead of falling down and quitting out of discouragement, they persevered and pressed forward. The result was one of the greatest movements in the history of the world—the rise of Christianity. This was because of their belief in a cause and their relentless approach. What can we learn from their staunch beliefs and their perseverance in the midst of persecution?
By Stephen Copeland, Sports Spectrum
Stephen Copeland is a staff writer and columnist at Sports Spectrum Magazine. This devotional was taken from Sports Spectrum’s latest Training Table, a 13-week devotional published in each print issue. Log in HERE to view the Fall 2015 print issue of Sports Spectrum.