The title of this post may seem odd… but it is thoroughly Biblical! Consider the following texts…
James 1:2 Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.
Acts 5:40 When they had called in the apostles, they beat them and charged them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. 41 Then they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name.
Acts 16:22 The crowd joined in attacking them, and the magistrates tore the garments off them and gave orders to beat them with rods. 23 And when they had inflicted many blows upon them, they threw them into prison, ordering the jailer to keep them safely. 24 Having received this order, he put them into the inner prison and fastened their feet in the stocks. 25 About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God…
Isn’t it amazing that the early Christians were joyful IN persecution? They didn’t whine, gripe, complain, or fuss that their life was tough. In fact, they celebrated! They considered their persecution as a blessed gift from God. Their perspective was that God was increasing their rewards in heaven.
Perspective is everything. They weren’t tied to this world. They knew it was passing away and is temporary. Thus they were willing for the goods of this life to be plundered because they were looking to their reward in heaven.
I want to be like them. I want to have an awareness of God in the moment… not just in hind sight. Oh God… please give me a heart and passion for you that is able to rejoice always!