Ch. 11 ended with news of a great famine. This chapter begins with the death of James and Peter’s arrest. More suffering. Yet…yet, the Word of the Lord continued to grow and multiply! Is suffering somehow related to this growth?
Sure! It is making the Suffering Savior visible again through the suffering church. (It fills up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions).
Also this suffering causes the church to pray! Though it is described as earnest prayer, it is not without doubts. They did not believe Rhoda when she reported that Peter stands outside at the gate.
(It’s kind of funny that Peter walked through prison gates that opened for him but he stands outside the locked gate at Mary’s house).
Yet, God had answered their prayers, though they were imperfect. That will fill you with joy and trust! So, yes, the suffering is connected to the growth.
I think we get to see a glimpse of what The Day will look like when Christ’s church is released and the enemies are vanquished. All the soldiers along with Herod are killed. I can’t help but think the Lord was reminding them of this to encourage them to press on.
What is suffering producing in you? I know you might think that we don’t suffer anything like what we have just read and that is accurate for where we live. But we still suffer. If you can’t grow with little suffering what makes you think you will grow with this kind of suffering?
Just know that none of it is wasted! It all has purposes that we may never understand but it changes us nonetheless. Press on, dear beloved of the Lord! He’s coming soon!