And what more shall I say? For time will fail me if I tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets, who by faith conquered kingdoms, performed acts of righteousness, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, quenched the power of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, from weakness were made strong, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. Women received back their dead by resurrection; and others were tortured, not accepting their release, so that they might obtain a better resurrection; and others experienced mockings and scourgings, yes, also chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were tempted, they were put to death with the sword; they went about in sheepskins, in goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, ill-treated (men of whom the world was not worthy), wandering in deserts and mountains and caves and holes in the ground. Hebrews 11:33b-38
Have you ever heard about an opportunity or adventure that sounded so good- your only response was… “Where do I sign up?” I would imagine if there was a poster in a marquis describing what people of faith are promised and will endure, many would say it sounds exciting, but way too risky. And they are right. True religion is not the ‘opiate of the masses’, its an amazing adventure with God that may be accompanied by a short and abrupt ending to life here on earth. Why? Because there is an enemy to our soul and people who are at war with God and His Son Jesus, and they will count people of faith as an enemy too. There has been no short supply of creativity when it comes to torturing Christians. So, there you have it. A package deal. An adventure like you could never script for yourself. High risk! But, there are eternal benefits and a life beyond this one as a reward for your faith and endurance.
Where do I sign up? I’m in! And remember, half the fun of fishin’ is who yer fishin’ with.
Do I really affirm the full package that comes with following Christ? Am I playing it too safe? Would others recognize that I am obedient to God and His call on my life?
God, as this day begins- I am so grateful for the amazing adventure of living by faith in Your kingdom. Sure, You’ve taken me to strange and far away places, and I have loved the adventure. But, You’ve also done a great work in my heart and in ministry as well. I can’t imagine a better life. And when its time to lay it down for Your sake, I pray You’ll find me faithful. Let the adventure continue!
Jonathan Edwards wanted to guard his life from negativity. Here is his resolution #58. Resolved, not only to refrain from an air of dislike, fretfulness, and anger in conversation, but to exhibit an air of love, cheerfulness and benignity. May 27, and July 13, 1723.