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"We must undergo many trials if we are to enter the reign of God." —Acts 14:22
Being beaten with stones to the point of death for your faith in Jesus is most definitely a trial and a hardship. Yet getting back up and twice going back into the same town which tried to kill you gives your witness for Jesus a credibility which no one can deny (Acts 14:20, 21).
St. Paul's tough love was encouraging beyond measure. What tough love Paul displayed in heading right back into town and then right back out on mission. When someone who has been pelted with stones and judged to be dead tells you that you must undergo many hardships to enter the kingdom of God (Acts 14:19, 22), his witness gets received seriously!
We are tempted to fear such trials, pain, hardships, and persecution. Jesus, however, gives us His own peace amid hardships. He specifically commands us: "Do not be distressed or fearful" (Jn 14:27). Therefore, do not shy away from hardships for God's sake; they are your battle scars which give glory to God. They are the brand marks of Jesus on you (Gal 6:17).
When the going gets tough, the tough love to get going.
Prayer: Father, may I be so focused on the death and Resurrection of Jesus that I consider my own sufferings as trifles (Rm 8:18).
Promise: "They called the congregation together and related all that God had helped them accomplish, and how He had opened the door of faith to the Gentiles." Acts 14:27
Praise: St. Christopher Magallanes and his twenty-four companions were faithful unto death.
Reference: (This teaching was submitted by a member of our editorial team.)
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Rescript: †Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, November 28, 2018
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