“After calling the apostles in, they flogged them and ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and then released them. So they went on their way from the presence of the Council, rejoicing that they had been considered worthy to suffer shame for His name. And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they kept right on teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ.” Acts 5:40-42
If I had just been flogged because of Christ, my guess is I would be complaining instead of rejoicing, seeking comfort instead of risking more torture, retreating instead of resolving to preach again, and fearing instead of trusting. If only I had the fortitude these disciples had!
I fear we have yielded to the world and become so soft we are unable to comprehend what it means to defend our faith and belief in Jesus Christ. There may be a day in the very near future and in our lifetime when we will be required to take a costly stand for Christ. When that time comes, I pray we will be persistent to further the gospel and prepared for persecution.
Have you ever considered that revival might require widespread persecution of Christians in order to reveal God’s glory to a watching world? Am I ready? Are you ready?
Prayer: Heavenly Father, may we be a people sold out to you, willing to take a costly stand for Jesus, even if it means persecution. I pray for strength as we face uncertain times. May our faith never waver or veer from the Truth. Let us be persistent in our pursuit of spreading the Gospel to a needy world. Fortify the church so that they, too, will stand firm in You. In Jesus’ name, Amen.