“And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name” (Acts 5:41).
When Peter and John were persecuted, imprisoned, and threatened, they rejoiced because they were counted worthy to suffer for the sake of Christ. Their Master told them to rejoice and be exceeding glad when men revile you, persecute you and speak all manner of evil against you falsely for Christ’s sake, for great is your reward (Matthew 5:11-12).
After experiencing this, Peter encouraged the believers by telling them to greatly rejoice while passing through manifold temptations and trials. He said, “The trials of your faith will make you worthy for praise, honor, and glory at the appearance of Christ.” It is given as a gift to suffer for the cause of Christ (Philippians 1:29).
In 1990 one of our Bible students shared the Gospel by giving tracts while waiting for a bus. As the bus began to move, some of the anti-Christians started beating him. When the bus reached the top of the hill, they threw him from the bus and killed him.
Upon hearing the news of the death of his only son, his father came to the Bible Institute to encourage the students to suffer for the cause of Christ. He said that he was glad that his son was worthy to be a martyr for the sake of Jesus Christ. He sold his small house and gave the money to purchase land for a Bible Institute.
What a privilege to suffer for the Lord and to be a martyr for the Lord. Now he is reigning with Christ in heaven.
Will you rejoice when you are persecuted or when someone you love becomes a martyr for the Lord? Will you pray and ask the Lord to give you grace to suffer for His sake? May the Lord help us to suffer for His glory.
*From: “Thirty Days of Prayer…” by M. A. Thomas (1995)