Rejoicing In Pain?

January 10

“…and when they had called for the apostles
and beaten them,
they commanded that they should not speak
in the name of Jesus, and let them go.
So they departed from the presence of the council,
REJOICING that they were counted worthy
to suffer SHAME for His name.”
Acts 5:40-41

Rejoicing? They had just been beaten, and they were left rejoicing?

I’ve mulled over this passage many, many times trying to imagine what kind of mindset these two men had that would make them able to REJOICE while being savagely mistreated.

Has anyone laughed at you, or criticized you for your faith? Have you been rejected, or have you been omitted when gatherings were going to take place? If so, what was your reaction? Did you recoil in feelings of embarrassment? Did you feel hatred toward those who misused you?

Quite a ways from rejoicing, isn’t it?

Are you so filled with fear of what people will think that you keep silent rather than speak in the name of Jesus?

What was it in these disciples that so motivated them that they would leave a beating, REJOICING?

It was because they understood. They understood that Satan is “the god of this world,” (2 Cor 4:4), that they were in his territory drawing people to Jesus Christ, and that anyone who does that will be walking around with a target on his back.

They also understood that they were only passing through, that this life is short compared to eternity, and that whatever was suffered for the sake of Christ would be so rewarded that it wasn’t even worthy of comparison. And being fully persuaded, they were willing to suffer ANYTHING as they toiled in their mission, ANYTHING, even death. And it would come to that. They were martyred.

Ask them now if it was worth it. And hear Paul’s answer:

“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time
ARE NOT WORTHY TO BE COMPARED 
with the glory which shall be revealed in us.”
Romans 8:18

Is it worth it? Yes. It is gloriously worth it.

 

 

 

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