FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 2
“and when they had called in the apostles, they beat them and charged them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. Then they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the Name.”
Acts 5: 40-41
WHEN PERSECUTION HAPPENS: BE GLAD
In 1982 the University of Wisconsin was playing the Michigan State Spartans in football. The game took place at the Badger Stadium in Madison, Wisconsin with a reported 60,000 fans watching the game. Michigan State was winning the football game by a large margin, yet the Wisconsin fans continued to erupt at odd times with shouts of joy and elation. The reporters present were confused, as were the few Michigan State fans who had managed to get tickets.
Later everyone learned the rest of the story. The same day the football game was taking place, the Milwaukee Brewers were playing the St. Louis Cardinals in a World Series baseball game, and Milwaukee was winning. The football fans at Badger Stadium were listening to the baseball game on portable radios and every time the Brewers scored or kept St. Louis from scoring the football fans erupted in cheers of joy.
The Christian life is a lot like the illustration above. In this world, it can appear that we are losing. The world looks at us and wonders how we can cheer and rejoice when so much sadness and sorrow fills the world around us and even comes into our own lives. What the world cannot see is the victory that we are dialed into – a victory Jesus has secured for us through His life, death and resurrection. We are listening to a different frequency – and we know that we are winners through the Lord Jesus Christ. (Minnix)
The joy of the disciples in Acts 5, after being beaten, was because they knew their lives were making a difference for Christ. Others had noticed the difference Jesus was making in their lives. If you lived in a country where people were physically beaten for living for Jesus would you be beaten? None of us want to be beaten. However, if you are a Christian, you want your life to make a difference for Christ. The next time you are bullied for your faith or someone notices a difference Jesus has made in you, rejoice and thank God for working in you.