“Resolution One: I will live for God. Resolution Two: If no one else does, I still will.” – Jonathan Edwards
Living a radically Christ-centered life is costly. It is very difficult to live for the Lord in a fallen world. It is difficult, but it is joyous. To live for Him is the very reason your heart is beating, therefore all the opposition in the world should not stifle your resolve to live for Jesus.
Living for Christ may cost you friends, family, status, finances, yet we who have tasted and seen that the Lord is good know that He is far more valuable than all of these things. He is worthy of our entire lives.
There is a quote that has rattled in my head for years, and it goes like this:
“Who is in more danger, the persecuted, or the comfortable?”
This is a valid question. Who is more blessed? The one’s who have had everything stripped from them, except their great faith? Or the ones who have all the comforts of this world, and very little faith? I think those who’s hearts are fully dependent on the Lord are the ones we should aim to be. Those in cells at this moment for their faith have resolved that Jesus is more valuable than their comforts, than their freedoms, and even their life. Praise the Lord for our brothers and sisters who are persecuted for their faith.
In America, over the last few hundred years, we have enjoyed much freedom, and comfort. Notoriously the church never does well with comfort and ease. The gospel doesn’t seem to advance the way that it does when persecution arises. Paul when speaking of his imprisonment said this:
“I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel, so that it has become known throughout the whole imperial guard and to all the rest that my imprisonment is for Christ. And most of the brothers, having become confident in the Lord by my imprisonment, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.” – Philippians 1:12-14
Paul didn’t view his imprisonment as a hindrance to the gospel, but the vessel by which the gospel would advance. Through his imprisonments the gospel went forth, and brothers around him preached the word more boldly. Oh, that God would raise up men who are willing to walk through hard times for the sake of the gospel!
Make no mistake about it, there are people in our country who want to put an end to Christianity. There are people in our country who want to ban worship, and church gatherings. I just hope that we would have the same mindset, and resolve that Edwards had. The resolve that says I will live for the Lord. I will die for the Lord. Even if I have to do it alone.
Today I am praying for those who are imprisoned across the world for their faith. That the Lord would give them perseverance, boldness, and resolve to live for Him to the very end.