There was a day in the life of the apostles that really stands out in my mind as one I believe brought them to the next level of their faith. This could be true for you too!
It happened that as they were living out their faith each and every day, teaching and preaching, witnessing, healing people of all kinds of maladies, that there were a religious group of men, who, as the Bible tells us…
“… were filled with jealousy…” Acts 5:18
So these religious leaders had the apostles arrested and thrown into jail. But that same night an angel of the Lord, “opened the gates of the prison” (Acts 5:19) and let them all out, telling them to get back to work. So the next morning, these apostles were right back in the same place they were the day before, teaching and preaching, witnessing, and healing people of all kinds of maladies.
The religious people “were greatly perplexed” (Acts 5:24) the next day because when they went to get the apostles from the jail cell, the doors were all securely locked, the guards were all in position, but there were no apostles inside. They couldn’t figure it out. Then they got news that these apostles were back in the temple doing what they were told not to do.
The apostles were once again arrested and brought before these religious leaders, for questioning. They said…
“We gave you strict orders not to continue teaching in this name…” Acts 5:28a
Here’s where Peter stands up and responds…
“We must obey God rather than men.” Acts 5:29
Now, you might be thinking that must be what I’m referring to in my opening statement, as I said there was an event that I believe jettisoned the apostles in their faith and brought them to a greater level. Well, I believe this is part of it, but not all of it. I believe these men needed to tell themselves and tell those they were facing, unequivocally, that they were all in for Jesus. They were His followers and nothing was going to stop them from following Him, not even the threats of these religious leaders.
But there is something else that propelled these apostles to live out their faith. After they were told to stop doing their Jesus thing, they were beaten and then released. And instead of moaning and groaning because of the beating, here’s what the Bible says…
“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.” Acts 5:41
Here’s my word of encouragement for you today: Learn the language of praise. When you’re questioned, harassed, even beaten because of your faith in Jesus Christ… don’t tuck your tail and run… don’t complain… don’t quit. Get your gameface on, set your heart in motion, put your mouth in gear and praise God you are considered worthy to suffer shame for His name.
I praise you even when I get beaten for my faith. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.
Rev. Dr. MM Marxhausen