Are You Worthy?

Got a problem? Ever get to acting or feeling like you are the only one with a problem? Consider the persecution of the church in Corinth of which it was written.

“We know sorrow, 
Yet our joy is inextinguishable.

We are handicapped on all sides,
but we are never frustrated;

We are puzzled,
but never in despair.

We are persecuted,
but we never have to stand alone,

We are knocked down,
but we are never knocked out!”
(II Corinthians 6: 10; 4: 8, 9 Phillips Translation)

First-century Christians expected difficulty, deprivation, and even death because of their faith.

There are places in the world of which that is still true today. We need to pray for the many persecuted Christians of our time. We also need to “tighten our belts,” and let the holy son-shine of Jesus within us shine out.  I have two signs in our garage I see every time I go out. One is a large yellow smiley face. The other is a cherished wood carving made for me by a college friend with the message:

                “The joy of the Lord is thy strength.”

Remember that little chorus, “I’ve the peace that passes understanding down in my heart?” That becomes an attractive factor. It is show and tell time for the Christian community. It is virtually impossible to tell a person of the peace that passes understanding until we show it to them by example.  When they see what it is, they are attracted to it. 

Consider one example by which to judge your attitude when someone causes you pain. “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.” (Matthew 5: 11) Blessed?

There is a dear lady who lost her job and suffered greatly because of living out her faith. She said she gained peace and stability when it was called to her attention that she, like the apostles, had reason to rejoice in that she was counted worthy to suffer for the Lord.

Few of us really suffer for our Lord, but all of us have disappointments, difficulties, pain, problems, losses, opposition, heartbreaks, and trials. All are an opportunity to be counted worthy to deal with them in a way that shows Christ is alive in us.

By your responses are you “….choosing rather to endure ill-treatment with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin.” (Hebrews 11:25)