Abigail Adams on the Value of Hardship
After the final service this morning, a first-time visitor came up and thanked me for my sermon. In the course of the conversation, he made an interesting comment: "You don't seem to have a care in the world." He didn't seem to mean it in a negative way, more along the lines of, "You don't seem to have had any problems in your life." As I thought about it later, it occurred to me that perhaps that reflected the nature of my sermon this morning. I preached on "Are You Prepared to Suffer for Christ?" from 1 Peter 3:13-17. During my sermon I talked a lot about the persecuted church, and offered specific, recent examples of suffering believers in China, Nigeria, Eritrea and Indonesia. I also talked about the death of Graham Staines and his two sons who were burned alive by a Hindu mob in India in 1999. I also mentioned a house church leader in China who was arrested in December and another who was arrested last September. The latter has reportedly signed a coerced "confession" after being tortured with electric cattle prods. Most American Christians can hardly relate to suffering for Christ like that.