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.
Acts 5:41 NASB
Wait! What? They considered themselves worthy to suffer? I bet you didn’t know that was in there!
Suffering for Christ is something that the “early church” experienced. Christians today don’t expect to suffer for Jesus. The truth be told…If Christians had to suffer, there would be a huge exodus from the Faith!
Most Christians wouldn’t stomach a church without an exemplary Children’s Ministry or a service without high entertainment value, much less suffering for the Lord!
But the early church considered it a great joy that they could suffer for Jesus. When they suffered, they identified with Him.
Jesus suffered greatly here on Earth. Why wouldn’t we? He did say that the world was going to hate us.
It’s a complete mindset change. Suffering for Jesus means you identify with Him. It means you put Him first. The threats and evil that other might do, don’t outweigh the peace, joy and love we have in Him.
If you are a Christian, at sometime you too will experience suffering for belonging to Him. When it comes, you need to rejoice!
Rejoice, not because you like to suffer. You rejoice because the world knows you as belonging to Him! And that is a great honor, to be known as His follower!
You have to know that this is coming! Our Christian Brothers and Sisters are experiencing suffering all over the world. We have been spared much in the US. But it is coming! When it does, will you be so sold out to Jesus and find it a joy to suffer like He did?
Lord, help us to be ready. Help us to not consider our lives outside of Your presence. We rely on You because You always come through. Help us to let our lights shine, even in the darkest of moments.