“. . . and after calling the apostles in, they flogged them and ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and then released them. So they went on their way from the presence of the Council, rejoicing that they had been considered worthy to suffer shame for His name. And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they kept right on teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.” Acts 5:40-42
These three verses in Acts, have always impacted me strongly. The boldness and love for our Lord that the apostles had amazes me; that this persecution they endured did not phase them. That after being threatened and ordered not to speak in the name of Jesus, they “kept right on teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.” And then they went on “rejoicing that they had been considered worthy to suffer shame for His name.” They rejoiced that they had been considered worthy to suffer for our Lord. It was an encouragement, it was a blessing to them. Yet how easy it is for us, when trials and persecutions come our way, to concede or to pity ourselves for what we are going through.
James 1:2-3 tells us to “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.” This is how we grow; this is how we mature. And we know that through these trials, we can trust in the Lord because His promises are true. As He says in Matthew:
“Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great . . .”
-Posted by Leah