February 5 | Acts 5:40-41
“Then after summoning the apostles and beating them, they ordered them not to speak in Jesus’ name and they released them. Then they went away rejoicing from the Sanhedrin’s presence because they were considered worthy to be disgraced for the name” (Acts 5:40-41)
In America, we haven’t begun to imagine the kind of persecution we see around the world. We often think we are suffering, and in some ways we are. Because of our First Amendment, it is harder to persecute Christian Americans. But it’s not impossible.
Most often we find persecution in the words people say against Christians, as well as the oppression of those who disagree with our biblical values and worldview. So we do suffer in this sense. But when I read about the apostles and what they suffered, I hope the Lord will count me worthy of his name.
Often the apostles found themselves in contradiction to the Jewish religious authorities. They had no trouble beating them. When the apostles left their presence, they rejoiced in their suffering.
They were glad to be counted worthy of the name of Jesus because they had suffered persecution. I asked myself if I would think of persecution as something to rejoice in. I must say my first reaction is, “No.” To be worthy is to have the worth or honor of something. May we be counted worthy of the name of Jesus in our witness and lifestyle.
Action Step: Consider ways you suffer for Jesus. How do you rejoice in your sufferings and trials? Would Jesus count you worthy of his name as you live for him? How can you suffer for the name of Jesus?
Lord Jesus, I want to be worthy of your name. As I call myself a Christian, I want to live the life you taught and showed me. I rejoice in the sufferings and trials I face because I know I am representing you in everything I do.