Encouragement in Difficult Times
In Mark 10, after the account of the rich young ruler and after Jesus teaches that entering the kingdom of God is hard for those trusting in riches, the disciples ask “Who then can be saved?” No doubt, the people questioning this felt like it was not possible to please God if the rich young ruler had obeyed all the commandments and still left “grieved”(vs. 22). It is recorded that Jesus says “with men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.”
After this, Peter says “we have left all, and have followed thee.” Jesus’ recorded answer to Peter’s statement is such an encouraging piece of scripture:
Verily I say unto you, there is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions’ and in the world to come eternal life (vs. 29).
Jesus admits that persecutions and sufferings occur when we choose Him. He also says that we may have to leave family and possessions in order to follow Him, especially if these people or things provide a stumbling block to us.
When we make a decision to follow Him, loved ones may not understand. Additionally, we are not promised an easy life because of our decision, in fact, just the opposite will likely occur. That’s the bad news.
Provision has been made for us!
However, the good news far surpasses the bad that we will likely endure as Christians. For one, we gain an immense family in Christ on this earth (that family, whom we can find all over the world with houses, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and fathers, and lands), and to top it off, we gain an eternity with Him!
It is worth it to be a child of God, even in the face of adversity and pain, loss and persecution!
I know, personally, that these promises are true, because of experiences in my own life. I am so blessed with a wonderful spiritual family all over the world! Without a shadow of doubt, I know that wherever I go and whatever happens in my life, I have the security and safety of being able to rely on the fellow saints of God.
To my fellow family in Christ, I love you and thank God for you always.
If you read this and thought to yourself "I don't feel this safety or security in Christ or in His church," please contact me or someone close to you and talk about it.