Out of suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars. – Kahlil Gibran
If you have a child in your life, chances are you’ve had a conversation like this:
“If our house was on fire and you could save only one person, who would you choose?”
The correct answer is supposed to be, “All of you.” But can you imagine saying, “I wouldn’t save any of you. Instead, I’d save the kids across the street who don’t know me yet”?
This is what’s happening in Jesus’ delay, right? Jesus waits because He wants everyone to hear the Gospel. Meanwhile, men, women, and children die for His name. It’s true that Jesus allows His children to suffer for the sake of those who are not yet His children.
Do you struggle with this: that the temporary suffering of God’s children is worth giving eternal life to the lost? If so, consider the cross: the Father determined that the temporary suffering of His Son was worth the lost being found.
Giving everyone a chance to experience grace is the entire reason Christ came to earth, and it’s the reason He refrains from returning. Because the day Jesus comes back is the very last day the lost can be saved.
It doesn’t make it easy, but it makes it worth it.
“With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day. The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise … he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.” - (2 Peter 3:8-9)
God isn’t slow. He is patient. Because the longer He waits, the larger His household becomes. So what can we do to honor those who are suffering in the wait?
- We can share the Gospel since this is why Jesus delays.
- We can pray. Often in the West, we pray, Lord, take this burden off my back. But our brothers and sisters being persecuted pray, Lord, strengthen my back for this burden. Let’s join them in that prayer.
Jesus, the contrast in these two prayers hits me hard. It makes me almost jealous for the intimacy that must come in the communion of persecution. Awaken this fire in me. Fan the Holy Spirit in me so that together we pray, we share, and we shift our perspectives in regard to the hard things in life. Amen.
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Pete Briscoe’s Disarming the Darkness DVD or CD series
Satan loves to use Christians as his punching bag. But if you’re a believer, you don’t have to fear his attacks and can walk in freedom! Learn more about Satan’s defeat and your triumph in Christ in this encouraging 7-message CD or DVD series from Pete Briscoe.