Many times over the year I’ve had to fight the same doubts but pushed on hoping that in sharing the beauty I find in life, someone might be encouraged, inspired, challenged or at the very least a thought or image might brighten their day. Today I step out even further into the arena.
I’ve finished my ramble through Romans for now and I’ve tumbled into the fascinating letters Paul wrote to the Corinthian believers. He pours out his heart. He doesn’t pull any punches.
“It seems to me that God has put us who bear his message on stage in a theatre in which no one wants to buy a ticket … we’re the Messiah’s misfits. We’re treated like garbage, potato peelings from the culture’s kitchen. And it’s not getting any better.” The Message
He was ridiculed and abused by those who rejected him and his beliefs.
I’ve spent the majority of my life in a country which called itself a Christian country, where the laws of the land were based on God’s law and where there was freedom of worship and of speech … my right to my beliefs were respected by government and the judiciary.
It has been easy to be a complacent and comfortable Christian until now. Most of us haven’t had to stand against persecution for our faith, but that is about to change and it is changing rapidly. Maybe that is a good thing.
Maybe we will be forced to stand up in a way we never have before. Maybe this will be the opportunity for a renewed passion for Christ and for shining light into an increasingly dark world.
He also reminded us that, “Tenderness is not weakness; its fortitude”.
I love that word, fortitude … courage, bravery, strength of character, fearlessness, and endurance. That’s the stuff of revolution … a revolution of love and forgiveness. "For God's Way is not about mere talk; it's an empowered life" 1 Corinthians 4:20.
Perhaps the road ahead is God’s gift, to shake us out of our complacency. I’ve no doubt it is calling us to a fresh commitment to loving … love that blesses those who persecute us and does good to those who hate us or believe differently. There's nothing new in that but there is a new urgency to follow in the footsteps of Jesus.