This past Sunday in church, we sang the song Living For Jesus. Some hymns express joy in the LORD. Some are songs extolling the greatness of the LORD. This hymn leads us in singing about striving to please the LORD as we live for Him. The third verse brings out a truth that many Christians need to hear. Living the Christian life is something that is many times difficult and filled with trials, afflictions, and (dare I use the word) tribulations. Here is the verse:
Living for Jesus, wherever I am,
Doing each duty in His holy Name;
Willing to suffer affliction and loss,
Deeming each trial a part of my cross.
This brings up the question: Are we willing to suffer affliction and loss? Or are we only seeking to move ahead in our earthly conception of gain? When Paul was arrested and put in prison, was that a step forward for Him or a step backward? When Job lost all of his children, was that a loss or a gain? When someone gets cancer, when a mother prematurely loses her child, when a husband loses his job, when someone is beaten and robbed, can we deem these things as loss for ourselves, but gain for Christ? “Deeming each trial a part of my cross,” how easy to sing, how tough to live.
The church needs to wake up to the fact that the kingdom is not going to be ushered in by the preaching of the gospel alone. This preaching of the gospel is to be accompanied by suffering for our faith. Quite soon, the great persecution will break out. Christians who are prepared to suffer will have a clear testimony. Christians who believe that God would never let any thing bad happen to them will be unprepared.
Luke 21:10 Then he said to them,"Nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. 11 There will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences. And there will be terrors and great signs from heaven. 12 But before all this they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors for my name’s sake.
13This will be your opportunity to bear witness. 14 Settle it therefore in your minds not to meditate beforehand how to answer, 15 for I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which none of your adversaries will be able to withstand or contradict. 16 You will be delivered up even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and some of you they will put to death. 17 You will be hated by all for my name’s sake. 18 But not a hair of your head will perish. 19 By your endurance you will gain your lives.
Have fun and stay busy – Luke 19:13
-The Orange Mailman