In my men's group this morning we studied Acts 5 where the apostles made a miraculous escape from prison. I was studying with a retired prison guard and said he should be thankful that he never had to guard the apostles; they were a slippery bunch! The account goes like this:
-They were arrested for preaching about Jesus
-They were sprung from prison by an angel
-They escaped all the way back to the temple and began preaching about Jesus
-They were arrested again for preaching about Jesus
-They were beaten for preaching about Jesus
That's a story all by itself, but there is more. The part that rocked my world is 5:41 which says, "The apostles left the high council rejoicing that God had counted them worthy to suffer disgrace for the name of Jesus." When is the last time you rejoiced over suffering? When is the last time that you were thankful that you were found worthy of suffering? When was the last time you heard suffering presented in a spiritual or faith building way? How might the apostle's view of suffering change a perspective that you have on a past/current/future instant of suffering? Whatever your answer consider this: the apostles saw Jesus suffer first hand and realized that following him would lead to suffering. Do you have that same understanding as a follower of Christ?
Read the Bible in One Year Plan: 1 Kings 18-20