Ready to suffer? No one is. But, as a believer in Jesus we need to be ready to suffer for doing what is right.
Many years ago I was in a job that required transporting mentally ill clients. We were in a residential treatment center so we took them to the grocery store, to their appointments, and to day programs. We were responsible for them and I took the job seriously as I drove the 15-passenger van.
Others who worked in the program were not as diligent as me. When it came to my attention that a few of them were showing up to work intoxicated I knew it would have to be me who reported it. What was even worse, the biggest violator was the boss’s own daughter.
It was not easy, and I did not make any friends. In fact, I stood alone in my accusations because the person who had told me would not back me up. But I knew it was right. After that, we had safeguards put into place to prevent this from happening again.
1 Peter 3:14 says, But even if you suffer for doing what is right, God will reward you for it. So don’t worry or be afraid of their threats.
When I think about SUFFERING. . . a few thoughts come to mind as I remember back on this situation.
If I had not been the one to stand up for the clients, then something horrible could have happened. I had to know what was right and be ready to say something.
Doing what is good is what we are mandated to do. God expects us to live in a way that shows our faith. That means doing the unpopular thing at times.
I thought about what the consequences would be if I did nothing and it scared me. I also thought about the awkward work environment and that I may have even lost my job.
I could not just pray that the situation would go away. I had to make the effort to do the right thing. There could be no shying away from my responsibility.
By doing this one thing in the way God wanted, I felt empowered. My relationship with Him grew as I took one more step into being obedient.
It is not always in the BIG Moments that we become closer to God. It is in our everyday work as we do it with excellence, follow Christ’s example, and continue to do what is right. And the best part? God will reward you.
James 1:2-4 says, Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
So, suffering has a place and a purpose. How are you ‘suffering’ for your faith?
Be filled to overflowing,
P.S. Grow your Faith with a Personalized Faith Plan. Only by cultivating your vertical relationship with God will you walk in obedience and grow into suffering for the right reasons.