Acts 4:31-33 – And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness…..And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all.
This passage comes as God’s direct answer to persecution. Inevitably, when God’s people are attacked the Lord turns up the volume of His response. He will not allow His gospel to be hindered and will not permit our mouths to be silenced. Peter and John had just been threatened by the Jewish leaders. Rather than shut their mouths they asked the Lord to fill them with boldness to continue to preach Christ. Not only did they pray for boldness, they prayed that the Lord would stretch out His hand in the power of signs and wonders. One of the greatest outpourings of miracles came in response to their prayers. Here is how the Passion Notes describes this boldness.
“The Greek word (for boldness) is parresia. This involves more than confidence; it was a free-flowing, unrestrained boldness. It can also mean “freedom of speech.” Parresia carries nuances that are not easily brought over into English. The person who speaks with parresia will say everything that is on his mind with no restraint, flowing out of his heart with confidence. It involves being frank and honest, hiding nothing and speaking directly to the heart. Most often it is a word used for public speaking. It refers to speech that is not tailored to make everyone happy but to speak the truth, in spite of what that may cost. It is the courage to speak truth into the ears of others.”
So what was God’s response. He poured out His Spirit, the disciples were filled with boldness, and an explosion of miracles took place. Here is part of what happened in Acts 5.
Acts 5:12 – And through the hands of the apostles many signs and wonders were done among the people. And they were all with one accord in Solomon’s Porch.
Recently, the church has been receiving unfair treatment in various parts of the country. Protests are welcomed by government officials, at the same time outdoor worship events are banned. This is really an exciting development. Inevitably the Lord will respond. What will that look like? Another surge of signs, wonders, and miracles.