"Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” Matthew 5:12
The five-year-old boy was at a fast-food restaurant with his mother, brother, and sister. I’m proud to say that the family saw no need to change their custom of praying before their meal. The boy asked if he could say the prayer. He prayed with the volume and vigor of a normal five-year-old: “Come, Lord Jesus, be our guest and let these gifts to us be blest … and, Lord, if Mom would add fruit pies for dessert, I would be even more thankful. God, this is Your friend, Danny, signing out for the entire family. Amen.”
A lady in the next booth whispered, so all could hear, "No wonder this country has gone to the dogs. Kids today don’t even know how to say their prayers. As if God doesn’t have other things to do than provide fruit pies.” The boy asked, “Was that a bad prayer? Shouldn’t I pray for fruit pies?” An older man leaned across the aisle and said, "I’ve been praying a lot of years, and if I know God like I think I do, He would rate that prayer as being one of the best He’s heard. In fact, I think it’s a shame more people don’t ask Him for fruit pies. Fruit pies can be good for our hearts and souls.”
Mom bought fruit pies for the entire family. The little boy turned around, tapped the shoulder of the lady who had put down his prayer, and said, “Here, I want you to have my fruit pie. Fruit pies can sometimes be good for our hearts and souls.”
The boy had successfully survived his first taste of persecution. In the years to come, Satan will return to try again. Scheming and shrewd, Satan will try to wear down, grind down, and tear down the boy's Christian confidence, conviction, and courage. He will do the same to you. When that day comes, I encourage you to remember that you are not alone. Christian heroes, in every generation, have been persecuted for their faith. In those moments of challenge, they have turned to their Redeemer for courage. Like Saint Paul they believed, “For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all” (2 Corinthians 4:17). Confident in Christ’s promises, they emerged victorious and gave proof to all those around them that Christ is still triumphant.
Excerpt from The Lutheran Hour sermon preached November 7, 2004
THE PRAYER: Heavenly Father, I am confident in Your promises. May I not only see, but also act upon the opportunities You place before me today. Please help me to share the news of Your triumph. Amen.
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