(My grandmother, Anna Daisy Siemens, wrote poetry and prose. This devotion was written and published as Suffer with a Smile for Devotions for the Deaf in 1994)
James 1:2 – Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds.
When the Pharisees ordered the Apostles not to speak in public about Jesus, Peter replied, “We must obey God rather than men,” (Acts 4:19 – But Peter and John replied, “Which is right in God’s eyes: to listen to you, or to him? You be the judges!). He then pointed a finger of guilt at the Jewish leaders for crucifying the Son of God.
The Sanhedrin wanted to kill the Apostles but Gamaliel persuaded the Jews to flog them with a warning never to preach His name again. Did the Apostles complain? No, they rejoiced because they were considered “worthy to suffer disgrace for the Name” (Acts 5:41) – The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name.
Suffer with a Smile
Paul wrote, “We rejoice in our sufferings” (Romans 5:3 – Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance.) When Paul and Silas sang praises while chained in jail with bleeding backs, God rescued them through an earthquake. The jailer and his family were baptized because of their testimony.
As metal is tempered through heat, we grow through our trials. If we share in suffering, we can also hare in His glory (Romans 8:17 – Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.).
Prayer: Lord, give me the strength and the joy to rejoice in bad times and when suffering.
(Recently my mother, Emily Combs, had an opportunity to show joy. See her blog, Blessings of a Broken Shoulder)
My struggle with depression in 2018.