A friend and I were talking recently about how little we suffer compared to those, for example, in North Korea. If the strength of our faith was tested to the extreme measures that these brothers and sisters in Christ live with, how strong would it be? Could we handle the physical and verbal persecution? Could we watch our loved ones being tortured in unspeakable ways? That night I was reading Acts and came across this passage in chapter 5:
...and when they had called the apostles, and beaten them, they commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name. And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.
Would we walk away from prison, after being beaten and accused, rejoicing that we were counted worthy to suffer for Christ? What an inspiration these men were! In America we do not suffer brutal torture for simply believing the Word of God. We do not have to hide from the government to hear the Bible preached and we are not thrown in prison for owning a Bible... but we should not get too comfortable with the vast amount of blessings we live with -- for to whom much is given, much is required. One day we will give account for how we used the gifts of a safe home, a family, two good hands, freedom, the Bible, talents, friends, a vehicle -- the list is endless. We have been given much. Let us do much.
Labels: FOOD FOR THOUGHT