Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Have You Been Found Worthy to Suffer For the Name of Christ?

One of my heroes of the faith is missionary Guy Muse. He inspires me in so many ways it is hard to begin to explain it. Recently, one of his blog posts really struck my heart. The post is entitled "What Curious Alchemy is This?". A curious title to be sure, but a wonderful article and I believe it would be well worth your time to read it.

In his post, Guy muses (sorry, I couldn't resist) on the passage in 2 Cor. 11:23-28 in which the apostle Paul recounts a partial list of his trials and sufferings. Similar to Paul, Guy writes his list of trials and sufferings for Christ in the 20+ years of being a missionary in Ecuador. Guy admits that his list does not come close to being comparable to Paul's list, but I think Guy's list is pretty impressive.

Every person who is trying to reach lost people for Christ can recount times of perceived persecution. Although my list is pitiful in comparison to Guy's list and Paul's list, here's my meager attempt at a 2 Corinthians 11 list of mine and Debbie's sufferings for the name of Christ:

Are they servants of Christ? (We are out of our mind to talk like this.) We are more. We have been called liars, untrustworthy, false prophets. We have submitted ourselves to unrelenting accusations, threats, false witness, and character assassination. Opponents have spat on us, cursed us, threatened us with bodily harm, and tried to restrict our place of ministry. We have been labeled as unloving, unkind, deceitful, dictatorial, dogmatic, too biblical, unbiblical, lacking common sense, lacking biblical wisdom, preaching too calmly, and preaching too loudly. We have been chewed out for soliciting (passing out gospel tracts or church brochures), berated for bothering people at home, and criticized for not visiting in homes enough. We have been depicted as antinomian, legalist, Calvinist, Arminian, not baptist enough, and being too baptist. We have been mocked, laughed at, and been the object of derision and malicious gossip.
Some people might read this and wonder why am I being so negative. This post is not intended to be negative. It is intended to awaken your notion of what it really means to be a Christian. Jesus told us that if we followed Him, we would be persecuted. Jesus told us that because the world hates Him, it will hate His followers also. In Acts 5:41, the apostles rejoiced "that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name." Persecution, trials, and suffering are normal for followers of Christ. Why are we surprised when they come?

Are you rejoicing that you have been found worthy to suffer for the name of Christ? What would your 2 Cor. 11 list of sufferings look like? Please share with us and let us all rejoice in your sufferings for His name. 

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