Today’s Hot Drink of Choice: Starbucks Breakfast Blend
Today’s Scripture: By faith, after Moses was born, he was hidden by his parents for three months, because they saw that the child was beautiful, and they didn’t fear the king’s edict. By faith Moses, when he had grown up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter and chose to suffer with the people of God rather than to enjoy the short-lived pleasure of sin. For he considered the reproach because of the Messiah to be greater wealth than the treasures of Egypt, since his attention was on the reward. – Hebrews 11:23-26
If you’re like me, the title to today’s blog makes you cringe. All of us have different levels of pain tolerance, and most people don’t want to choose to suffer. Some consider a remodel or addition to their home excruciating, while others endure unspeakable horrors at the hands of monsters and wonder if they have the right to admit to how much they hurt. It’s true that some people can’t help the suffering they endure because of circumstances beyond their control. Despite this, within Scripture we see examples of people who chose to leave riches and comfort behind while taking the harder, but higher, road.
Moses is one of these people. He was adopted into royalty and had all the riches and power of ancient Egypt at his disposal. He chose, however, to pursue the harder road of helping those of his biological heritage escape the desperate trap of slavery. He gave up everything he ever knew to follow God’s specific will for his life: To be a voice and a vessel of deliverance and direction for the nation of Israel.
Throughout the Bible we see amazing examples of those who consciously chose suffering for the sake of the Kingdom of God. Jesus Christ is the most powerful example of this. Imagine having all of the resources of Heaven at your disposal and choosing a humble existence and brutal death instead of living it up! I’m pretty sure I could never make that choice.
So how do we live out this often misunderstood, but essential, aspect of commitment to God in today’s distracted world? I believe there are three key ideas that can help:
1. Focus on the FACT that God will never leave you or forsake you.
I cannot tell you how many times my confidence in God has pulled me through situations that seemed impossible. God and I have a solid track record. He has saved me from some really nasty stuff, and I know I can count on Him. However, my confidence in his faithfulness would be easily shaken if I didn’t practice number two….
2. Make prayer and study of Scripture a daily priority.
We live in a crazy world. There are people saying and doing all kinds of things in the name of religion. To know the true perspective of the God of the universe who sent His son to die for all of humanity it is necessary to invest one of the most precious gifts we are given in this world: Time. Being committed to prayer and reading the book God penned through amazing people throughout Christian history is vital to staying on track in this lifetime.
3. Surround yourself with Godly people who live the kind of life you desire while emphasizing holiness and self-control.
Not everyone is who they say they are. It often takes effort to discern sincere people versus those who are great communicators yet low on morality. It is wise to surround yourself with those who have proven they are sincere in their faith and are more experienced than you are. If their Christian walk looks like you want yours to look in a few years, then it’s good to examine the positive aspects of how they’re living.
For more on the topic of suffering and Christianity, check out this great book with some thoughts from some of modern Christianity’s examples of spiritual giants: