A Meditation on Joy in Suffering

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When I feel the tension of how difficult it is to truly follow Jesus amidst the paralyzed religious landscape of America.  I remember how my many brothers and sisters suffer far worse than I could imagine, and I weep with them.  Don’t turn your eyes away.

Don’t turn your eyes away from those who are raped, pillaged, burned, beaten, abused, ostracized, isolated, marginalized, hated, disrespected, uncared for, rejected, dishonored, and not listened to for the sake of the gospel of Christ.

And remember that though we live in a privileged and relatively safe country, we will surely suffer also as we stand full of joy and peace for the gospel of Jesus.  We should expect it.  We should welcome it with joy.

Even when we are misunderstood by religious people.

Even when we are mocked for our convictions.

May we love, and never give up.  May we show our enemies the love of Christ.  May we stand in the face of danger and risk and live quietly honorable, dignified, and humble.

May we do what’s right even when we don’t receive it in return.

May we share God’s peace and be transparent, even when people cause us violence and judge our motives wrongly.

May we be willing to suffer all things for Him who graciously calls us His own.

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