Sometimes I'm tempted to think that it would be so much easier to follow Christ if I was living during the time of the Apostles. A time when God was working so powerfully in the Church. A time when I could mingle with such people as Paul, Peter, John, Luke, Timothy, and the rest. Yet as I read the following verses, I am reminded that there were times, and there are places still today, where followers of Christ endured much persecution.
A Sobering Passage
2 Corinthians 11:24-28, "From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness - besides the other things, what comes upon me daily: my deep concern for all the churches."
Just a few verses later, though, Paul gives us hope.
2 Corinthians 12:9-10, "And He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ's sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong."
Philippians 4:11-13, "Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."
Hebrews 13:5, "Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, 'I will never leave you nor forsake you.'"
No matter what we're going through, we should be comforted with the knowledge that He is with us. This old world isn't our home...we are just passing through.
Just something to think about. :-)
God bless you and keep you - wherever you are. ;-)