I have been thinking lately about our dislike in America (particularly the church) for anything that makes us uncomfortable. We look for things all the time that make life easier. Or protect us. Or keep things that scare us far away. And we do all this because it’s normal. It’s wired into our brains to protect ourselves. But following Jesus means we must embrace the abnormal.
We have to think with the mind of Christ.
Here’s what the Bible says about suffering:
Romans 8:17- Now if we are children, then we are heirs —heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory.
John 16:33- In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.- Jesus
We are not called to give up, but we are called to embrace suffering and know that God has a plan that is greater than our suffering.
Romans 8:28- And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
Also, this is suffering in the name of Christ. Not things like not having A/C in your car during a Kansas summer. That is suffering, just a different kind. Also, having to eat at certain restaurants or not buy certain brands or shop at certain stores does not equal suffering. Ask a Christian who lives in China or another persecuted country where you can be imprisoned or killed for proclaiming Jesus about suffering.
And then shift your perspective and get after Jesus with everything you have.
“Give me Christ or else I die!”