Today’s Reading: Acts 21:18-36
Mark Twain said, “December is the toughest month of the year. Others are July, January, September, April, November, May, March, June, October, August, and February.” EVERY MONTH IS TOUGH OR CAN BE!
Paul got into trouble by preaching the truth of the gospel of Christ. Preaching the truth seems to always cause trouble because some people don’t want to listen to it or believe it. Paul experienced two difficulties in this text. 1- The difficulty of being misunderstood and 2- The difficulty of being hassled.
And talk about being hassled. That was Paul. Only it was much more than just being hassled about the message he preached. HE WAS BEATEN AND PERSECUTED FOR HIS MESSAGE.
How do you handle being hassled by someone? Someone offered this advice. “Remember, when someone annoys you, it takes 42 muscles in your face to frown, but it only takes four muscles to extend your arm and smack the guy in the head.” But that is not very good advice. Look what Peter wrote:I Pet. 4:12-16 “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.”
A nurse in one of the great London hospitals complained to Bishop Taylor Smith that she had been rudely treated by some of the patients. “Thank God for that!” he said. “What do you mean?” asked the astonished nurse.“Why,” said the Bishop, “if you are carrying a vessel and somebody knocks up against you, you can only spill out of the vessel what is inside. And when people misjudge and persecute us, we can only spill what is inside.”
If people give us trouble in this life it may be for this very reason; because we have something special on the inside! If you have the Lord living within you some people will give you trouble in this life, because at the same time the evil one is at work in others! AND WE SHOULD NOT BE SURPRISED!