Worthy to Suffer

And to him they agreed: and when they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.  And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.

Acts 5:40-41

The council of high priests and elders had given Peter and John a very hard time.  They had rebuked them, commanded them not to speak of Jesus, imprisoned them and had them beaten.  Through all of this, they remained thankful, positive and praising the Lord.  In fact, verse 41 tells us that were “rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.”

It is both challenging and encouraging to read of these accounts of what men went through and how they reacted for the sake of the gospel.  Any of these things would be hard for us to bear.  They not only bore them, but they rejoiced.  That was the power of Jesus Christ in their lives.

None of us like rejection.  None of us like to be rebuked.  Definitely none of us like to be beaten.  But we do like to honour the Lord.  We do like for Him to be pleased with the things we do.  Sometime, we may be called to suffer for Him physically, but, more likely, we will be called to suffer for Him in other ways.

People might mock us and make fun of our beliefs.  People might get angry with us and yell at us.  People might even be hateful to us.  They might slam a door in our face.  We might have to deal with some nasty looks or rolled eyes.  But those things shouldn’t make us angry.  Those things should serve to let us know that we, like these apostles, are counted worthy to suffer shame for His name.  The next time we deal with something like that, we should count it an honour.

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