If you have the choice of being disgraced or not, you’d probably choose not. But what if you are disgraced because of your belief in Christ? Disgrace is not such a bad thing if it is for the right reason. In Acts, after the apostles defended the spreading of the gospel, ultimately following what God wanted them to do over what the Pharisees wanted them to do, chapter 5, verse 41 says this:
“The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name.”
And that name, of course, is Jesus. One of my favorite portions of scripture supports this notion. It’s found in Matthew chapter 5 verses 11 and 12 which says:
“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
The apostles knew that they would be counted blessed when suffering disgrace for the name of Jesus, because he had revealed this to them earlier. I think we need to remember that as well. It is human nature to want to keep ourselves from persecution. Though when it is for Christ’s sake, it can be a good thing. When we are treated badly because of our belief in him we should rejoice, because great is our reward in heaven.
The apostles rejoiced for being counted worthy to suffer disgrace for the name of Jesus. We hear all of the time about the consequences for doing something wrong. But sometimes there are consequences for doing what is right. The difference is that when you do something wrong, you most likely deserve your punishment. And when you do something right, especially if ends in disgrace for the name of Jesus, you are rewarded.