Yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at him, dragged him out of the city and began to stone him.
— Acts 7:57-58

Stephen had just spelled out the story of God’s promise to Abraham. He explained how God had made a covenant with his people and had fulfilled it (Acts 7:2-50). Then he charged the high priest and the rest of the ruling establishment with the murder of “the Righteous One,” Jesus Christ.
And at that moment Stephen’s day got much worse. The religious rulers were enraged. They were so angry that they dragged him out of the city and stoned him.
Have you ever seen someone going through a tough time and wondered, “I don’t know what I would do if that happened to me”? Here’s a wonder and awe moment in the story of Stephen.
As they pressed him, Stephen understood the power of God’s presence with him. He saw heaven open, and he found comfort.
When we face tough times or when it feels like the world is against us, that can actually be a moment when we can know the peace that surpasses all understanding. A time like that can be hard and trying, but it can also be an opportunity to draw close to Jesus.
People have said that perhaps the best question to ask in tough times is not so much “Why?” as “What are you revealing to me, God?”

O God, help me to see a bad day or a tough time as an opportunity to draw close to you. I often fall prey to focusing only on myself. Instead, help me to see you and to serve you faithfully. Amen.

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