By way of introducing my message Wednesday night I read Hebrews 11:33-40. If you haven’t done so in a while I suggest you do it today. We tend to forget what a great price God’s people have paid for being true to the faith. What they suffered was horrible, and in some parts of the world it still happens today. Why do we feel that we deserve to fare better? Are we better? Of course not. The fact of the matter is that if we live godly we will encounter persecution ( 2Timothy 3:12). Good people often have bad problems. Saints suffer. You can’t judge a person on the severity of their suffering—some of the best people have had the worst problems. But you can tell a great deal about a person’s character by their attitude toward their afflictions.
How we respond to our trials is crucial. If we get bitter instead of better, if we murmur and complain, if we fret and fume we make ourselves and others miserable. We lose our credibility as “believers”. The moment we act as though God is being unfair we toss our testimony out the window. When we rant and rave we cut off the line of communication with others and lose the chance to be a witness to them.
It’s when we accept what God allows or causes with a sweet spirit that others sit up and take notice. Now their ear is open and their heart is receptive. Now we have an opportunity to show others the difference that Jesus can make! We have it far better than we deserve and much easier than others, such as those described in Hebrews 11:36-38, and our pay-day is someday. We have no reason to believe that we can or should expect life to be a bed-of- roses. To the contrary–our Lord warned us of troubles and trials. He Himself suffered beyond anything that we can describe. Why should we complain?
We live in troublesome times, the days are difficult, but God’s grace is sufficient. He will empower and enable us to live victoriously. Our problems create for us a glorious opportunity to bear witness for Christ. Out of the bad can come good, just as God promised in Romans 8:28. Others have suffered, now it’s our turn. May we, by the grace of God, be so bold and brave! Think about it!