1 Peter 4:19 So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good. (NIV)
The First Christians must have been a very strong, faithful generation. They persevered through times of unjust persecution and cruel suffering in order to maintain the Church. We are the heirs of their endurance, but are we worthy of such a blessing?
When I read of Christians supposedly being persecuted in our country, I know it is exaggerated. We complain vehemently when we are challenged or inconvenienced because some of us aggressively want things to happen according to our beliefs, our standing, and in our time. It makes me wonder if the First Christians are looking down on us from Heaven and shaking their heads. They would consider our complaints paltry compared to what they had to endure.
Faith, during truly hard times, can comfort us but it was and is never meant to make us comfortable. As C. S. Lewis once wrote: “I didn’t go to religion to make me happy. I always knew a bottle of Port would do that. If you want a religion to make you feel really comfortable, I certainly don’t recommend Christianity.”
Application: How uncomfortable is my faith?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, teach us the truth about ourselves and make us more aware of the hardships that having faith implies. Keep us from complaining about trivial things and constantly remind us of the sacrifices and suffering of Your people in the past. In your Holy Name, we humbly pray. Amen.
Today’s image is one of John’s drawings based on Christ’s teaching. If you would like to view a larger version, please click here.