“Howbeit, as the disciples stood round about him, he rose up, and came into the city: and the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe.”
The three words, “he rose up,” are amazing words that are said about the Apostle Paul when you realize what knocked him down. Paul had preached to the people of Lystra, but Jews from Antioch and Iconium came and persuaded the people that he was deserving of being stoned. When these people stoned Paul, they were not throwing little rocks or pebbles at him, but they used big stones to kill him. They wanted him dead, and every time they threw a stone at him, that stone was thrown with the intent to break a bone or to crush his skull. There is no doubt that Paul was knocked down.
After Paul was supposed to be dead, they dragged him to the outskirts of the city and left his body there to be eaten by the wild animals or vultures. What these people didn’t realize was that they had simply knocked him out and that he was unconscious the whole time that they drug him out of the city. As the disciples stood round about him, he woke up, rose up, and went the next day to another city to preach the Gospel. I am sure that Paul was still in a lot of pain when he rose up, but he didn’t let the pain or the fear of what the people would do cause him to stay down.
My friend, there is only one thing you have to do after you have had a bad situation happen to you; rise up and keep on going. The only thing that keeps you from being able to help more people is the decision to either get up and move on or to stay down and let the stones of hardships and trials defeat you. You may have been hurt deeply by what others have done to you, but you still don’t have to lie there and let their actions keep you down.
One thing that nobody can destroy is the spirit inside of you that determines to get back up after you have been knocked down. Pastor, the person in your church who has gossiped and lied about you may have hurt the church you pastor, but they cannot stop you if you choose to get back up. Believer, people may have come after you and tried to destroy you with ungodly attacks, but the one thing they can never touch is the spirit inside of you that determines to get back up no matter what has happened.
So you have been knocked down financially and have been left in financial ruins, let me encourage you to rise up and keep on going. So your marriage seems to have been knocked down and left for dead, let me encourage you not to accept that it is dead, but rise up and determine to overcome whatever it is that is trying to destroy your marriage. Maybe your business has taken a blow and has closed its doors, let me encourage you to get back up and try again. So the Devil has spiritually stoned you and has succeeded at leaving you for dead, let me encourage you to rise up and keep serving the LORD. You can lay there and die, or you can get up and see God do greater works through you in the future.
You may ask how many times do I get back up? God says in Proverbs 24:16, “For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again…” The seven times in this verse is talking about a seven day period, but the rising up again is talking about getting up on the new week and starting all over. No matter how many times you have been knocked down, God expects you to rise again and start over. The only thing that keeps you from success is the decision to stay down.