Tuesday, January 6, 2009

How Hard Do We Have It?

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."

Being Content

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. ;-)


  1. This puts me in mind of the verse which tells us that contentment with godliness is great gain.

    We could always have it better, I suppose, but the opposite is also true. I think that we Christians (in this country at least) actually have it pretty good. We enjoy luxuries and freedoms Christ and the apostles never experienced.

    It's intriguing to imagine what it must have been liking living in the early days of Christianity.

  2. Which verse is that? I'd like to add it to this post! Sounds like a Proverb if I had to guess.

    Intriguing indeed! Sometimes I wish I lived then, because persecution has always strengthened the church, and sifted out the ones who only give lip service to Christ.

    But then sometimes I get kinda lazy and think I wouldn't want to give up this comfortable life!

    At least we can be sure of this: we can't trust our own thoughts. So I guess it's best simply to pray "Your will be done"

    God bless you and keep you, Deb