Greathearted, loving, caring, sacrificial servants of the living God have known ill treatment down through the centuries. The consequence of serving is no new phenomenon. It goes a long way back in time.
I'm not aware of a more moving section of Scripture than these verses out of Hebrews 11, which declare the reality of the consequences of serving:
And some women, through faith, received their loved ones back again from death. But others trusted God and were beaten to death, preferring to die rather than turn from God and be free—trusting that they would rise to a better life afterwards. Some were laughed at and their backs cut open with whips, and others were chained in dungeons. Some died by stoning and some by being sawed in two; others were promised freedom if they would renounce their faith, then were killed with the sword. Some went about in skins of sheep and goats, wandering over deserts and mountains, hiding in dens and caves. They were hungry and sick and ill-treated—too good for this world. And these men of faith, though they trusted God and won his approval, none of them received all that God had promised them. (Hebrews 11:35–39 TLB)
Tortured. Rejected. Threatened. Hungry. Sick. Martyred. People who were "too good for this world" were kicked around like big rag dolls . . . even though they gave and they served. If it happened to them—need I say more? Yes, maybe I should.
My major goal in my upcoming posts is to help prepare you for the inevitable. Bitterness is often bred in a context of disillusionment. Many a Christian, regrettably, is sidelined today, eaten up by the acid of resentment and bitterness, because he or she was mistreated after doing what was right. My hope for you is that you will be preserved from the paralyzing sting of bitterness and disillusionment.
Taken from Improving Your Serve by Charles R. Swindoll. Copyright © 1981 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson. www.thomasnelson.com
Used with permission. All rights reserved.