Everything looked pretty grim in Acts 4:1-4. Peter and John were speaking to the people and giving testimony of Jesus. The same group who arrested Jesus and had Him crucified came up and arrested them for speaking about Jesus. What is a person to think? Do you think Peter and John doubted their purpose in life? Do you think they wondered if they were really doing what God wanted them to do if they were arrested?
Has that ever happened to you? Have you ever thought you heard God tell you to invite a neighbor to a church event, only to be rejected, and wondered if you were really hearing God right? Have you ever given testimony of Jesus to someone you know isn't saved and they didn't respond? Does it make you wonder if you should have done that? Sometimes doing God’s will doesn't get the results we think it should have. During times like that we begin to doubt our faith or our ability to know what God wants.
I'm sure that Peter and John could have had a day like that. After all, all they were doing was giving testimony of Jesus, but that didn't prevent them from being arrested. What thoughts were going through their minds? Wasn't this very similar to what had happened to Jesus just a few months before? Were they worrying about their future? Were they thinking they were in for an unfair trial and illegal crucifixion? What were they to think? What I love most about this passage is the But of verse 4. Even though John and Peter had been arrested we are told, But many who heard the message believed, and the number of men grew to about five thousand. Last we heard, the number was at three thousand. In spite of the fact that Christians were being arrested right in front of them, true believers couldn't resist the testimony of Jesus and came to believe.
Do you ever get discouraged following God’s plans and directions for your life because you are not seeing the results that other Christians experience? Don't give up. Look for the but. Sure there are things happening in your life that make it appear that God is not with you and that God is not for you; nevertheless look for the but. Look to see if there is a but that is going on. Perhaps you've been so focused on the bad things that are happening even though you are serving God that you are missing the but. God is always up to good in our lives. Sometimes we need to be reminded to look around.
Our God is the God of the unnoticed and unseen sometimes. Don't give up on being faithful to God. If you are discouraged with yourself or the people you are wanting to bring to Christ, think about the BUT. If you can't see it, ask God to open your eyes. He wants to encourage you.