Counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name
Acts 5:41 (ASV)
41They therefore departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the Name.
Chinese farmer, Chang Fang Yuan, was nearly beaten to death for preaching the Gospel in his village. But he didn't die, and instead prayed to the Father for the forgiveness and salvation of his attackers. His prayers were answered.
For some of the believers who went on to lose their lives during the Chinese Boxer rebellion of 1900, it was a privilege to share in the sufferings of their Savior and with much joy, others anticipated their welcome when they arrive Heaven's door.
Bishop Ignatius was cast into prison for failing to renounce his faith in Christ, and instead of bowing to the demands of his captors, he wrote them a powerful letter; stating his total commitment to Christ and joy at being counted worthy to suffer for Christ sake.
When Christians in Fangcheng were forced into hard and free labour for the government, Zhang Rongliang was not happy that he was not included to join the common suffering for Christ. But an "opportunity" to suffer for Christ came Zhang's way soon , and he leaped for joy, rejoicing that he had been at last counted worthy to suffer for Christ.
Last Letters & Further Records of Martyred Missionaries of the China Inland Mission by Marshall Broomhall
In separate brief letters to their loved ones as they faced imminent death, two martyrs for Christ - Mr. and Mrs. Peat, write of their joy in sharing in the fellowship of Christ's suffering and of their joy - even in the face of death.
Wave after wave of evangelists were sent to Sichuan Province, only to be beaten and sent back. Each group rejoiced that they were counted worthy to suffer for the Name of Jesus. Eventually the Gospel prevailed and took hold in Sichuan.
Subhan was expelled from school because he became a Christian but instead of becoming bitter, he rejoiced that he had been counted worthy to suffer disgrace for the sake of Christ. He continued his education elsewhere and eventually became a bishop in India.
Stephen Cheung counted as nothing his suffering in prison, but with the peace of God in his heart, he rejoiced at being an ambassador in chains for the gospel.
A beautiful story of three believers who rejoiced at being counted worthy to suffer disgrace for Christ's sake - while one was imprisoned for twenty years, two gladly payed the ultimate price.
When Stephen Cheung was arrested for the second time, he knew he would be in prison for a long time and this time, he will be leaving his pregnant wife all alone. But yet again, he rejoiced at being worthy to suffer for Christ.
When Stephen Cheung is arrested and treated like a dangerous criminal, he considers this to be a blessing, to suffer for the name of Christ.
Samuel Stokes writes about the Sadhu, who though was just a boy, suffered a lot for his Master. When overcome with illness one day as the traveled through mountains, his amazing answer to Stoke's question about how he felt was, ‘I am very happy: how sweet it is to suffer for His sake!’
Brother Yun is filled with joy at being counted worthy to suffer for Jesus. He, along with eight others, were publicly shamed by being driven around in an open truck for all to see. Brother Yun loudly sang praises to God, in spite of threats from the guards, and his singing led a backslidden sister back to the Lord.
Banished forever to Siberia from all comfort because of her conviction and proclamation about Christ, Maria has no regrets whatsoever and that brings another witness to the scene in her stead.
Sundar Singh was arrested for preaching in a forbidden Tibetan village. But his joy was so great--joy that he might suffer for Jesus' sake--that he sang and preached all night long from his tiny cell window. The enraged officials tried to silence him with torture, but he sang hymns of praise to Jesus all the more.
On her wedding day, of all days, a young Christian girl is arrested by the Communist police for evangelizing and teaching children about Christ. But while everyone else wept, rejoicingly, she kissed her chains, and thanked God for counting her worthy to suffer for His Name.
When Vanya Moiseyev was martyred for the witness of Jesus, his family chose to rejoice even while grieving, in "his exploits of suffering" for the Jesus he so dearly loved.
North Korean Christians in the early 20th century rejoiced to share in Christ's persecutions. Story after wonderful story tell of spiritual fruit worthy of the apostles of old.