Thursday, January 23, 2014
Then they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonour for the name (of Jesus). - Acts 5:41
A couple of days ago I wrote a post suggesting in the early church the Success & Sacrifice were links in the chain of its explosive growth.
In the very next chapter we find these guys in prison, threatened and beaten because of their witness. Not just a nasty look or a comment on facebook but actual physical beatings for talking about Jesus.
Their reaction, REJOICE because Jesus has found them WORTHY TO SUFFER.
I have to say that perspective has not found a comfortable home in my heart.
But for some it is just so true. I received an e mail yesterday from Ps George who had just received news from one of the areas that we are partnering around the world through LightForce. It informed me that a pastor who was preaching the gospel to unreached people was martyred. He leaves behind a young family.
This is not a theory it is real with real people who are so committed to the cause of Jesus they will not stop when threatened, beaten or even put to death.
I'm not sure if my brand of Christianity is even the same ball park as guys like this pastor or the early church fathers.
God protecting me from suffering would be much higher on my agenda than the perspective that somehow Jesus allowed it because I was worth in his eyes with the result of rejoicing.