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20 July 2010

Enduring Persecution?

Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles 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.
- James 1:2-4 (NLT)
 
Sometimes we feel like we're having our faith tested when we're actually just being self-centered. Wait... let me rephrase: sometimes I feel like I'm having my faith tested when I'm actually just being self-centered. I'll admit it even though I feel remarkably stupid for saying it.
 
Have you ever felt like everything was going wrong, but then realize you're just crying over interrupted luxuries? I regularly discover how easy it is for those of us who live in great comfort and luxury to imagine ourselves as being martyrs, or at least very close to it. Now, I don't assume for a moment that when our central air conditioning goes out (as it did a couple of days ago) that I'm being persecuted for the sake of Christ. However, when that happens and then the refrigerator begins to leak in the night and ruins the kitchen floor, my mind asks my mind, "Okay, what next?" Then the next tragedy hits -- the dreaded interruption of TV signal!! Argh! How much more can I take?! Please end this horrifying nightmare! (Okay, I don't really go that far...)
 
And I realize that I shouldn't be valuing these things as if they have eternal worth, I pray and ask for focus on Christ, and at that point it strikes me just how amazingly easy it is to take my eyes off of Christ and put them on terribly insignificant things. I also realize at that point that the world is, in fact, not crashing down all around me.
 
I seem to whine about the loss of things that I should be very thankful to have been blessed with in the first place. I think that I almost feel entitled to my stuff. Again, the extent to which our "stuff" can take our focus off of Jesus Christ is amazing. It taints almost everything.
 
Today when all of these things struck me, I thought about Jesus' account of the rich man and Lazarus. "But Abraham said to him, 'Son, remember that during your lifetime you had everything you wanted, and Lazarus had nothing. So now he is here being comforted, and you are in anguish.'" (Luke 16:25, NLT)
 
Whew! Not only do I not want to have the same kind of heart as the rich man, but I don't even know if I want to have this much stuff anymore...

2 comments:

John King said...

Your correct. After being involved with a person in which a Covident was made. The other Party Broke it immediately. I learned this months down the road. I was an my family extremly hurt. But after serious counseling. I learned that by walking in the lite. Knowing I have not Sinned. Im at Peace. Probally the worst thing to ever happen to me. However, im totally fine with it due to Jesus is with me. so no how little or big the problem is. Theres always a answer.
Things like the A/C Ets breaking. These are ither, everyday events. Or due to we live in a dispospal world. Are we taking proper care of these items we have. My point. when your having a problem, or just going thru life. Do you first open the Bible for a answer. Or do you ignor things by living in a box an wait until the world starts crashing in. Im not saying you live that way Dean. But many do. I was one. I would call my Pastor, before opening the bible. Taking a shortcut. Thats wrong for me.
Lastly, your stuff...Everyone likes material items. However if you go buy a tv just because your friend did. Well thats trying to keep up with the Jones. If you buy what you need, takecare of it. There is no sin. It will than be sold when you dont want it, or given away to someone in need. If your in Debt. But gotta have that new car. Maybe you need to rethink your priorties. Buy used. I am currrently selling a ton of drums due to there no longer needed. Be nice to keep them around to show off. But which is bettter. Being a show off. Or paying your bills, an living in his light. again nothing in this is about you Dean. Some people just live beyond there means. money is the root to all evil. thats why I dont buy lottery tickets. Im happy being out of debt an broke...lol
again..."Just a Drummers Opinion

John King said...

Eye opener..
I like to read your old posts. Some help me alot. I also enjoy reading Prestons an others comments. You can tell especally over years that these are men an women who truly love God. However,
I read a post which disturbed me. Due to it relates to my first post here. It was a couple of years old.
The person writing on it. Had major Spirtitual problems than. An unfortnutually to this day is still not walking in Gods Light. I've been Praying for these people an will continue. If they only lived out what they say. For me it bugs me. But its for God to Judge not me. So silent prayer request for someone in here who is lost.
thanks
John King

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