It’s important to note something, as you read this quote from Francis Chan. He’s not telling us to go looking for suffering; we don’t seek it out, but we accept it, embrace it when it does come.
Until we embrace the suffering that so many Christians embrace around the world, we’re not going to have an unstoppable Church. The Enemy is fighting so hard to keep us from reaching that place, because once we get there, he has no foothold.Francis Chan, Letters to the Church
Our adversity to pain keeps us from being separated from the world. A person gets sick, and we pray only for healing. A family member dies, and we ask only for their comfort. A church member loses their job due to their faith, and we pray for restoration. A believer in another country goes to jail, and we pray for release.
How many times have we missed the opportunity for God to teach us through the pain, because we’ve done all we could to avoid it? That’s what the world does—looks for every avenue to get fixed, stop the hurting, dull the pain. The world seeks avoidance at all costs, even if those costs come at a price they don’t see.
Are we going to be in the same boat? Where’s our faith in that? Where’s our understanding of Scripture, of Christ’s own words?
I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.John 16:33 NIV
In this world you will have tribulation. It’s a given. Pain and troubles and illness and persecution are all on the menu. We can’t skip it and go straight to dessert! We must embrace what God allows to come our way with good cheer, because whether we live or die, we do so for Christ.
What testimony might God ask you to give through suffering? Don’t miss the opportunity, when next it comes your way. Embrace it!
Grace and Peace