When Jesus was suffering in the yard of Caiaphas, the High Priest, the disciples ran away. Peter went into the yard, but said that he didn't know Jesus. He even called down curses on himself and swore. After that, he went back to the Sea of Galilee, returned to his boat and to fixing his nets. He went back to the life he had had before he met Jesus – the life of a fisherman.
Paul took Barnabas and Mark on his first mission trip. Barnabas asked Paul to take his nephew, Mark (Barnabas' sister's son). Paul could not refuse this request, because he had won the trust of the disciples in Jerusalem thanks to Barnabas' help. At first, Mark was very excited to go on a mission trip. The first mission site, Cyprus, was Barnabas' home, so they were made very welcome. In addition, a Governor of Cyprus repented of his sins and accepted Jesus as a result of the miracles that God performed by Paul. Therefore, Paul, Barnabas and Mark must have felt very confident at that moment. However, when they reached Perga after leaving Cyprus, they had to face scorching heat. There were also rumours that the central highlands of Turkey were deserted and that there was a group of bandits in the highlands. For these reasons, Mark could not endure the hardships, and returned to Jerusalem without a word.
Paul took Silas on the second mission trip instead of Mark. Silas felt honoured to go with Paul, and he gave thanks to God, rather than complaining, when he was in jail. He was thankful that he was in prison as a result of God's work, and he was honoured tha the was in prison with an apostle like Paul. About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hyms to God. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everybody’s chains came loose. But Paul and Silas did not run off. When the jailer was about to kill himself because the prisoners had escaped, they saved the jailer and his family.
I hope that you and I will have nothing except the name of Jesus. God always uses the man who does God's work without turning back, no matter what happens. God uses the man who goes forward, not falling back once he has started to live with faith.
Pastor Seok-Jeon Yoon
Extracted from Yonsei Newspaper #491 (Aug 6, 2016)