I’m sitting here in a comfortable chair. I’m drinking a flavoured coffee in comfortable clothes. I’m… comfortable!
Then I open my Bible and read about the apostles being persecuted for their faith.
In Acts 5 they get brought before a tribunal called the Sanhedrin and are ordered to stop teaching in Jesus’ name.
The apostles refuse. So the Sanhedrin threatens to kill them. But a wise rabbi named Gamaliel diffuses the situation. Instead of killing them, they decide to severely beat and whip them—something called flogging.
I wonder how the apostles felt. Sad?
Here’s the answer: “The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name.” (Acts 5:41, NIV)
They were REJOICING because they had been counted WORTHY enough to suffer for Jesus!!
That blows my mind. When something bad happens to me I wonder, ‘Oh Lord, am I being punished? Why are you not helping me? Where are you?’
In contrast, they REJOICE because they were WORTHY enough to suffer for Jesus!
I realize we live in a different time. Although there is Christian persecution in our world, many of us in the West are pretty comfortable.
So maybe it’s time to do something for Jesus that makes you UNcomfortable.
Like taking a stand on an issue that puts you at odds with the majority view. Like sharing something about your faith with someone. Like reorganizing your schedule so that God’s priority in your life is actually reflected in how you spend your time. Like serving the poor or giving to the point where it really stretches you.
And yes, it will involve sacrifice. It may make you different…
Jesus didn’t live and die to make you more comfortable. Jesus lived and died for the forgiveness of sins, and so that you could also die and come back to life by his resurrection power for the healing of the world.
Maybe it’s time to do something for Jesus that makes you UNcomfortable.
Don’t let the comfort in your life get in the way of Christ in your life. He himself is all the comfort we really need.
By Matthew Ruttan