Week of September 23

"Surely This Was a Righteous Man."

If it is true that a picture paints a thousand words, then there was a Roman centurion who got a dictionary full. All he did was see Jesus suffer. He never heard him preach or saw him heal or followed him through the crowds. He never witnessed him still the wind; he only witnessed the way he died. But that was all it took to cause this weather-worn soldier to take a giant step in faith. “Surely this was a righteous man.” (Luke 23:47)

That says a lot, doesn’t it? It says the rubber of faith meets the road of reality under hardship. It says the trueness of one’s belief is revealed in pain. Genuineness and character are unveiled in misfortune. Faith is at its best, not in three-piece suits on Sunday mornings or at V.B.S. on summer days, but at hospital bedsides, cancer wards, and cemeteries.

Maybe that’s what moved this old, crusty soldier. Serenity in suffering is a stirring testimony. Anybody can preach a sermon on a mount surrounded by daisies. But only one with a gut full of faith can live a sermon on a mountain of pain.

From No Wonder They Call Him the Savior
Copyright (Thomas Nelson, 1986) Max Lucado

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