Lent Day 21–Enduring Persecution: The Deepest Definition of Trust

You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance,  persecutions, sufferings– what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured. Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them” (2 Timothy 3:10-11).

I know a little bit about a lot.  I know a lot about a little bit. 

I know nothing about some things—persecution is one of them.

Sometimes I amplify events in my life that I don’t like and imagine that it constitutes persecution under the most broad definition.  There are aspects of my life where I’ve been caused to suffer great sadness and rejection.  But whenever I read passages like 2 Tim 3:10-4:5, I become aware of how ignorant I am and how truly sheltered is the life that I lead. 

Through my AllExperts questions and answers over the years, I’ve met people in areas of the world where persecution—true persecution—is commonplace.  I’ve prayed for the persecuted church in which I’ve heard of Christians being imprisoned or killed for nothing more objectionable than standing firmly for Christ.  I’ve known people who have been disowned by their families, lost their homes, sent away to distant towns, and who have been fired or deemed unemployable simply for being a person belonging to the Christian faith.  I’ve known people whose very lives were in danger for the privilege of attending a worship service in secret.  For them, there is such joy—in being gathered together for worship as Christians—that every fear melts away and they risk it all because they know what the Lord has done for them.  He has set them free.

I cannot say that I envy those who are genuinely persecuted—for their persecutions.  But I confess a certain curiosity about what it must feel like to truly stand for something like that; to know the highest stakes of one’s decision to follow Christ; and to be willing to sacrifice it all for the eternal glory promised to those who persevere.  To know whether or not my faith would be proven to be what my Lord deserves; whether it would be the kind that overcomes every obstacle; and to know the deepest definition of trust that enduring persecution represents.

Categories Chapel Worship/News | Tags: | Posted on April 1, 2011

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