Are you willing to suffer shame for the cause of Christ? It’s a question that most Christians might like to immediately answer yes. Yet their actions show that deep down the answer might be no. Are you willing to die for the cause of Christ? Again, you might want to say yes; but fear might cause you to say no.
In one sense, it’s good if we hesitate before answering the question. In our pride we might proclaim our adoration of Christ, and then crumble when tests of faith come our way. Peter boldly claimed he was willing to die with Christ. Then a few hours later his fears got the better of him and he denied that he even knew him. (see Luke 22:31-62)
But Peter was a much different man in Acts 5. By then he had been humbled. By then he was walking in the Spirit. By then he really was willing to die. Before he was all talk. Now he was action. Having been flogged for proclaiming the gospel; the book of Acts tells us the Apostles rejoiced. “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 NASB)
I must admit that this passage is convicting. How often do we consider it a badge of honor to suffer for the name of Christ? How often are willing to risk our reputation for the sake of the name of Christ? How often, in all honesty, would we be willing to die for the name of Christ? Such courage can only be attained by a deep relationship with God the Father, through Jesus the Son, in the power of the Holy Spirit. Do you have such a relationship?
Jesus said “no one comes to the Father, except by me.” (John 14:6) Have you repented from your sin and placed your faith in Christ as Lord? If so, are you walking with him daily? And lastly……are you suffering for the sake of his name? If not, then something might be missing in your life. Believe it or not, Christians are supposed to suffer in this sinful world that is not their home. Yet because of Christ, even in the midst of suffering, we can rejoice because we are counted as worthy to suffer for his name.