From yesterday: It isn’t easy being judged by your own brothers and sisters in Christ. It isn’t easy being rejected because your message is unpopular. It isn’t easy for millions of Christians throughout the world whose lives hang in the balance because their faith puts them on the wrong side of a political struggle. And it isn’t easy suffering one of more of these trials while Satan uses them to gain a foothold in our hearts. Maintaining our faith isn’t easy and managing our circumstances isn’t easy.
Yet, it is worth it. Once we understand what Jesus did for us on Calvary it is a joy to know we are filling up His suffering by taking fire in His name. This doesn’t mean we should go looking for trouble just so we know what it means to suffer. But when we do, we should not think God has abandoned us, or our faith is in vain. On the contrary, God can use times of persecution to fan the flames of His mission and purify us for greater service.
Don’t be surprised when you suffer. Your pursuit of righteousness is an offense to the world, and God’s servants have a long history of persecution. Ask God to use you in every situation, and to help you remain faithful in your cause and your character. Should we ask that our way be made easy or hard? Perhaps we should just ask that our lives be purposeful.
“We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body” (2 Corinthians 4:8-11).