When I read about the early church in the book of Acts I am often moved by how the new believers lived. It wasn’t a perfect church, but they were learning how to put into practice what they were taught by sharing all they had with each other according to the members’ needs.
It was a new practice to meet in one another’s homes to worship and pray and receive the “new” teachings of Jesus through the apostles and other teachers. It was an exciting time.
The early church faced much opposition because they followed Christ’s teachings. They became the outcasts of society and saw many of their leaders stoned, beaten and even killed for their faith.
In the book of James, chapter 5, the author exhorts the believers to persevere through the difficult trials they were facing, and he reminds them of Job: “As you know, we count as blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.” (v. 11 NIV)
As Christians, our attitude in the midst of difficult times communicates to the world what it is we really believe.
Maryann Lorts, a fellow blogger, wrote recently on the subject of endurance. She often writes devotionals encouraging believers to live authentically godly lives and challenges us to not seek to be accepted by the world.
On her website, Coming to Light, she states: “I get out of bed and wake to a tired world and see a need to be a light. My calling may be small among many, but by God’s will, I will run the race that He has placed before me and finish well.”
I hope you are encouraged by what Maryann has to say, and that you’ll return often to her blog for more insight.
Can you endure until the end?
“The virtue of patience seems to be long gone, even for devout believers in Christ. This lost patience almost looks like resentment. Forget patience in suffering as a human or as a Christian. We can’t get ourselves to that point because we want an insta-fix. We don’t find refinement went we want to skip over the fire.
When pain, suffering, or trials come our way, we start to feel agitated or bitter. Our support systems that typically help give the answers or fix the problems aren’t working in our imperatively responsive lives.” Continue reading…
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