“When [the Jewish Council] 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. And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they did not cease teaching and preaching that the Christ is Jesus.” Acts 5:40-42
The apostles looked at their sufferings and seemed to say, “don’t sweat the small stuff”! Why were they so willing to suffer? First, God’s Spirit was at work in His chosen witnesses, enabling them to respond to adversity in faith-filled ways. Second, the apostles were absolutely convinced that they were teaching the truth – they had touched and seen the risen Jesus! How could they not proclaim this Good News? Third, they counted themselves blessed that God would count them as “worthy to suffer.” Undergoing suffering reminded them of the infinitely greater sufferings our Lord endured for them, and for us.
Jesus, by faith, shape our responses to suffering and set our sights on Your sufferings this Holy Week. Amen.