Saturday 31, August 2013
TEXT: 2 CORINTHIANS 4:7-18
KEY VERSE: “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” (2 Corinthians 4:17).
In 1900, during China’s Boxer Rebellion, some insurgents stormed a mission school and captured 100 Christians who were students. Those enemies of the gospel blocked all the gates to the mission station and left only one open. In front of that gate, which was left open, they placed a cross flat on the ground and asked the Christians, one after the other, to trample it under their feet. Anyone who did that would be permitted to regain his or her freedom and life, but anyone who refused would be shot. Those students became terribly frightened. The first seven of them trampled upon the cross under their feet and were allowed to go free. But the eighth student, a young girl, refused to commit the sacrilegious act. She knelt beside the cross and prayed for strength. Then she arose, moved carefully around the cross and went out to face the firing squad. The remaining ninety-two students, strengthened by her courage and example, followed her to the firing squad. They suffered for Christ.
Paul the Apostle, in our text, equally captures the essence which he describes as light affliction. To him and from experience, Christians will suffer persecution. If they are able to overcome, they will secure an eternal weight of glory that outweighs their suffering for Christ. Therefore, we should not focus on things that are of temporal value. Rather, our attention should be on things that have eternal relevance.
Studies have revealed that since the death of Jesus Christ, over 2000 years ago, 43 million Christians have died as martyrs. Over 50 per cent of these were in the last century alone. More than 200 million Christians face persecution each day, 60 per cent of whom are children. Everyday, over 300 people are killed for their faith in Jesus Christ.
So, suffering for Christ is not a new thing. The odd thing is to suffer for wrong-doing or sin. God can never excuse sin. If you must suffer, let it be for righteousness.
THOUGHT FOR TODAY: Persecution is the hammer which casts the true believer into eternal shape.
***Share your thoughts and what you've just learnt in the comments section below. Don't forget to SHARE