Life happens for everybody
It sounds so good: 28… Your courage and unity will show them what they’re up against: defeat for them, victory for you—and both because of God.
We are so privileged. We’ve got everything and you could say the best times are still ahead. Now we can enter the world. We can hop, skip and jump, because we believe in Christ. Our path has been paved for us, because God did everything for us.
But we shouldn’t live in a fool’s paradise. We shouldn’t think that just because we believe in God everything will always go well, as if we’ve gotten the inside track on life. No, the opposite is true. At times life will have a field day with us. At times we will end up upside down in the mud. Times when we will call out and scream: My God, my God, where are You?
Paul warns us: 29There’s far more to this life than trusting in Christ. There’s also suffering for him. And the suffering is as much a gift as the trusting.
At times we will not be able to escape the rocks the world throws at us. Financial catastrophes, broken relationships, pain and suffering, a broken body, accidents and cancer, doctors with no answers beyond the limits of their humanity. Life happens to all of us.
The question is whether you are prepared to suffer. Are you prepared to take the hard, steep road with Jesus too?
When we five friends from primary school turned 50, we decided to have a four-day festival with our families in Hermanus. One pal had to travel all the way from Australia. One evening he asked me what real love was. I said it was to be prepared to give everything for others.
Then he asked me what I would do in the following scenario: My children are caught on the railway tracks, I can save them – at the cost of my wife’s life. I have to choose. I answered that I would choose my children, because if the roles were reversed, I would want my wife not to choose me, but the children. Because you see, to his first question about love I already said I would give everything for love. Even my life.
Are you prepared to give everything for Jesus? Are you prepared to suffer hardship while those who believe differently enjoy a sunshine life?
30You’re involved in the same kind of struggle you saw me go through …
This cannot be taken lightly. This is not easy. We don’t really want to hear this, because we only want the rugby, sunshine and Chevrolet.
But if we understand the impact of this, it can make our present suffering a bit easier to understand and a bit easier to endure. Just the realization that life will be so hard sometimes that we will cry for what we believe in, already makes the burden a bit easier. The hardship makes sense in the bigger picture that sometimes we have to suffer for…
Are you suffering?
Do you see the bigger picture?
Are you really prepared to suffer for what you believe in?
Father, I don’t know if I’m prepared to walk the road. What I do know, however, is that I need your strength. Because without it I will definitely not make it! Amen