In Acts 5 the apostles found themselves in a very trying situation. They had already been put into prison for preaching about Jesus. Then they were miraculously liberated by the angel of the Lord and told to go "speak the words of this life" in the temple, which led to them once again being brought before the authorities and questioned. Upon proclaiming Jesus as the Christ and confronting the council about murdering Him, the angry council was planning to kill the apostles. However, they were cautioned by Gamaliel and instead settled for beating them and commanding them to no longer teach and preach about Jesus.
This is such an interesting ordeal, but what I find most interesting is how the apostles responded to it all. For one thing, they kept obeying God and His will for them no matter what it cost them. Prison, threats, beatings, and even death were not enough to stop or silence them. Not only did they remain fiercely obedient, but they did so with startling exuberance. After narrowly escaping being killed and then being beaten, they went their way REJOICING because of the persecution. Rejoicing. This is not a reaction we're accustom to in the day in which we live. The reaction of the apostles seems odd until you realize that they were just living the teaching of Jesus.
Matthew 5:11-12 NKJV -  "Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.  "Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great [is] your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
My son and I were discussing the story from Acts 5 and he pointed out how the apostles probably didn't have much energy or strength left after the beating, but they used what was left to rejoice and praise God. They could have used whatever they had left to complain, throw a pity party, and question why they were living for the Lord, but they didn't. They rejoiced. They counted themselves blessed to know and serve Jesus and nothing that happened to them was going to change that. I want to live like this. I don't want to live my life with my head hung low, lamenting the bad things that happen to me, questioning God, and wondering why I'm serving Him. I want to rejoice no matter what situation I find myself in. Lord, help me to remember how blessed I am to know you and to be thankful that I can bring glory to your name even if it means that I have to suffer. This is not an easy prayer to pray, but it's the way our Lord and Savior intends for us to be living.
What are you facing? What are you going through? Do you feel beaten up? Do you feel like there's barely any life left in you? Take a cue from the apostles; lift your head, be thankful, and rejoice because YOU ARE BLESSED. It may not feel like it all the time. The blessing might feel more like a curse some days, but no matter what you're facing YOU ARE BLESSED when you suffer for His sake. Use whatever strength and life you have left to rejoice and honor God and watch how he uses your suffering to change the world around you.
You are persecuted.
You are suffering.
You are frustrated.
YOU ARE BLESSED!