Do We Trust God?

By Susie Frederick

Acts 19:18-20, 23-41

      As the apostle Paul and his fellow workers traveled around teaching people about Christ and salvation, they stopped in the cities of Corinth and Ephesus. Although they preached the same gospel in both places, the reactions of the people were very different. In Corinth, magicians practiced their “art” for money. It was their source of income. In Ephesus, there were people who received their income from making and selling images of the false goddess Diana (or Artemis). Consider the different ways the magicians of Corinth and the image-makers of Ephesus reacted to the threat of losing their sources of income.

      When the magicians in Corinth believed, they not only stopped their practice of magic, they even burned their books! They could have quietly sold them, but they were through profiting by tricking the people. I do not know what they did for an income after that, but I know that God provided for them. What a wonderful example they were!

      But the idol-makers in Ephesus were afraid of losing their prosperity. They started a riot, inciting a mob to help rid them of the “troublemakers.” They rejected a wonderful opportunity for salvation because of their greed.

      Do you know someone who has given up a job or a promotion for the sake of doing right? Or someone who has taken that risk? I know some public school teachers who refuse to leave God out of the discussion of creation in their classrooms, although they know that mentioning God may cause them to lose their jobs. Sometimes refusal to tell a lie for an employer will cost someone his or her job. Would you trust God to care for you when faced with this form of persecution? Let us pray that if we are faced with a similar decision, we will react like the magicians of Corinth — relying on God to care for us, and not like the silversmiths of Ephesus — turning their backs on salvation because of their greed.