One of the things that we, at least in the western church, can sometimes believe is that if we face roadblocks or troubles, then something must be wrong. We must have messed up, or a door has closed or something has happened.
But, when we read scripture, we see this: these troubles and trials we face, quite often they aren’t a sign of something that we’ve done wrong. They are a sign of something that we may be doing right. Listen to what happens in Acts 5: 40-42:
40 and when they had called in the apostles, they had them flogged. Then they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. 41 As they left the council, they rejoiced that they were considered worthy to suffer dishonor for the sake of the name. 42 And every day in the temple and at home they did not cease to teach and proclaim Jesus as the Messiah.
The apostles were preaching Jesus. And people were coming, they were getting saved, things were happening. But, they were also facing troubles from the religious leaders. They were telling the Apostles, “stop preaching Jesus.” They opposed their teaching and even had them beaten before sending them home.
And they returned home, they were rejoicing that they were found worthy to receive dishonor for the name of Jesus!
Wow! That’s so different than how we are conditioned to think. But what a sea-change that could be in our lives if we thought like that. When we face trials and troubles, when people mock us for our faith, when we are scorned or even abused, know this: we are being found worthy of receiving that dishonor.
It’s not that we’ve done something wrong. We are doing something right.
We are making a difference for Jesus!
So, as different as it may seem from our world when you face these troubles and trials, rejoice. Give thanks. Now, lean on God as well, for the strength to survive, but know this: you’ve been found worthy!
Keep being faithful. Keep living out your faith. Keep serving, keep going, keep loving, keep sharing, keep making a difference with all that you are.
And when trouble comes, know that it is a sign that you are doing the right thing. You have been found worthy.
May we lean on Jesus for strength in that time, and in all times!