June 7: “Happiness in Being Mistreated for Jesus”

7 Minute Read

TODAY’S BIBLE READING:

1 Kings 2:1–3:2
Acts 5:1-42
Psalm 125:1-5
Proverbs 16:25

TODAY’S BIBLE VERSE(S):

Acts 5:40-41 (CSB): “After they (the Sanhedrin) called in the apostles and had them flogged, they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus and released them. Then they went out from the presence of the Sanhedrin, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to be treated shamefully on behalf of the Name.”

REFLECTIONS ON TODAY’S BIBLE VERSE(S):

To the serious Bible student, there is a continual awareness that much of what passes for Christianity these days is not Christianity. At best, it is a distorted Christianity.

The reason for this is that far too many supposed Christians aren’t spending sufficient time in their Bibles. While they have professed faith in Jesus and while they claim that they are on their way to Heaven, they aren’t reading their Bibles. They are making up their own rules.

The problem is that pure Christianity is counter-cultural. It is also counter-intuitive. Not only does it go against much that culture affirms, but it also goes against the rules we might come up with on our own.

The only way it is possible to live out our Christian faith is to spend regular time in God’s Word, getting God’s Word into our minds and hearts.

The verses I have chosen for Today’s Bible Verses is one such instance of how pure Christianity isn’t something we would come up with on our own.

Just see if the apostle’s response to being unjustly beaten makes sense.

Acts 5:40-41 (CSB): “After they (the Sanhedrin) called in the apostles and had them flogged, they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus and released them. Then they went out from the presence of the Sanhedrin, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to be treated shamefully on behalf of the Name.”

Wow! It says that the Apostles were “rejoicing that they were counted worthy to be treated shamefully on behalf of the Name.”

They were treated badly because they were telling people about Jesus!

They were flogged (beaten with rods)!

It was unjust!

And it brought a smile to the apostle’s faces!

Imagine that you are watching the evening news here in America. Imagine that they relay a story that happened in our country today. Two ministers were arrested for preaching the Gospel. Further, before the day was out, their shirts were taken off and they were beaten with rods as punishment for sharing the Gospel. As they were released, they were told that they had better not talk about Jesus in public again.

How would we expect those American ministers to act in response to the injustice? How would we respond?

  • Anger at the injustice.
  • Doubt at God’s goodness (“Why didn’t He stop the injustice?”)
  • Happiness wouldn’t at all be considered an option.

And yet we read in Acts 5 that the early Christians were treated horribly because of their love and loyalty to Jesus … and they were happy about it!

How could our contemporary understanding of Christianity be so far removed from theirs? How it is possible that what made the apostles happy would make us angry and disillusioned?

I will let Scripture have the final word on this.

It is my prayer that contemporary, American Christians would become people of the Word and find the joy that the early Christians experienced even when they were treated unjustly because of Jesus.

1 Peter 2:18-23 (CSB): “Household slaves, submit to your masters with all reverence not only to the good and gentle ones but also to the cruel. For it brings favor if, because of a consciousness of God, someone endures grief from suffering unjustly. For what credit is there if when you do wrong and are beaten, you endure it? But when you do what is good and suffer, if you endure it, this brings favor with God. For you were called to this, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. He did not commit sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth; when he was insulted, he did not insult in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten but entrusted himself to the one who judges justly.”

1 Peter 3:8-17 (CSB): “Finally, all of you be like-minded and sympathetic, love one another, and be compassionate and humble, not paying back evil for evil or insult for insult but, on the contrary, giving a blessing, since you were called for this, so that you may inherit a blessing. For the one who wants to love life and to see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit, and let him turn away from evil and do what is good. Let him seek peace and pursue it, because the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do what is evil. Who then will harm you if you are devoted to what is good? But even if you should suffer for righteousness, you are blessed. Do not fear what they fear or be intimidated, but in your hearts regard Christ the Lord as holy, ready at any time to give a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you. Yet do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that when you are accused, those who disparage your good conduct in Christ will be put to shame. For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil.”

1 Peter 4:12-16 (CSB): “Dear friends, don’t be surprised when the fiery ordeal comes among you to test you as if something unusual were happening to you. Instead, rejoice as you share in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may also rejoice with great joy when his glory is revealed. If you are ridiculed for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. Let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or a meddler. But if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed but let him glorify God in having that name.”

Posted by

I have an incredible wife that God gave to me on May 10, 1997. Since then, the Lord has blessed us with three wonderful boys. I am also the pastor of the First Baptist Church of Polk City, Florida.

2 thoughts on “June 7: “Happiness in Being Mistreated for Jesus”

  1. Today Christian have such a different mindset on what living a Christian life is all about and suffering for Christ is not a considered a part of it especially in this area

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s