We are shocked when bad things happen to good people. Especially when it’s us or someone we really love.
We are surrounded by extraordinary trials in the news and stories that are getting closer to home. My head doesn’t know how to process and my heart aches. I pray for God to stop the evil and Jesus come quickly.
I’m in a Bible study for Revelation. It’s timely. Honestly, the idea of really suffering for Jesus is so foreign. I sat at my kitchen table and sobbed through the last lesson — not out of fear of tribulations, but for all the years I’ve misunderstood suffering and my role.
I confess I’ve run from discomfort, pain, embarrassment, being outnumbered, and anything that could resemble suffering. But in those moments, I’ve diluted the Gospel, thinking those were bad for me. When in actuality, I could have missed the greatest moments in my faith and the faith of others.
The testimony of the moments we have overcome in the Spirit are the ones Jesus will celebrate as we stand before the throne.
I’ve figured out one truth: Perseverance is our individual choice. Like forgiveness, perseverance is an act of worshipful obedience to our righteous and holy King Jesus.
Since God tells us in His Word to expect suffering and trials — they will come, don’t be surprised — we can prepare ourselves and our families to overcome. Not just endure, but to glorify Him through the process of our faith, no matter the story He has written for us.
It’s about being prepared. Not expecting the worst or assuming every turn has trouble lurking, but being ready if and when life gets bumpy because we believe in Jesus.
What faith am I practicing when I bypass all the times Jesus tells His followers they will be disciplined because God loves them better than their own Daddy?
Why would I think in this modern age that no true Jesus follower will suffer if they just do all the things right?
What if my discomfort, trials, and sometimes real suffering is a gauge for the temperature of my faith?
What if I’m too comfortable with easy and, therefore, don’t look for opportunities God is calling me to minister in, that might bring discomfort or even wrath?
I want to praise Jesus in the moments of answered prayers and extreme blessings only a child of God could fathom. But I also want to raise my voice in “Hallelujah!” in the times of trials and suffering, thanking our Savior for an opportunity to choose perseverance and overcome.