Acts 4:24-30 records a prayer prayed after Peter and John had been arrested, threatened, and then released. When I read this passage, I was in a stretch of life when God was really expanding my heart and mind’s exposure to information about the persecuted church around the world. I have long been familiar with tales from the persecuted church, but it seemed as if I was hearing more and more about it – and still am.
Reading this passage forced me to stop and think yet again – how would I respond?
In this prayer, the believers are coming together and are lifting up their hearts, pleading to the Lord to glorify Himself through the persecution. But, what I find interesting is that they did not claim the persecution as being against themselves. They recognized that the persecution was against the Lord Jesus Christ, not the church.
Would I respond that way? Or would I respond by complaining at how horribly Iwas being treated?
The truth is that it’s not about me. It’s about the Lord. It’s about the expansion of His kingdom. It’s about the attack against Him.
I have never truly felt persecution. Some days I think that persecution would do us as a church much good, waking us up to the depths of serving the Lord. Whether it comes or not, every day we go through things in life that we feel are attacks against us and against our rights and freedom. My prayer is that I will begin, even with things as trivial as those, to grow to a point that realize nothing is an attack against me – it is an attack against Christ. May I no longer wallow in self-pity but instead be thankful that I am counted worthy of suffering for His sake and pour my whole being into turning making sure all I experience gives glory where it is due – to the Lord Jesus Christ.