The last section of chapter 5 was particularly convicting to me. The apostles were imprisoned for proclaiming the gospel. I am often afraid of being made fun of or ignored when I proclaim the gospel, while the apostles faced imprisonment and death willingly. That, in itself, is convicting.

Even more convicting is their response to being freed. When Gamaliel steps up and speaks on their behalf, they are freed (for a time) from their oppressors. If that happened to me, I would be jumping of the mountain tops rejoicing that God saw fit to deliver me from prison. However, when you observe the apostles they have a different response. Look at verse 41: “Then they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name.” They are not rejoicing for their deliverance. They are actually rejoicing that they had the privilege of suffering in the first place! Is that how we respond to suffering? Are we rejoicing in the privilege of being counted worthy of suffering for God? I know I’m not usually thinking that way when I suffer; however, if “all things work together for good” then suffering is a good thing and something worth rejoicing about.