Thursday, May 30, 2013

Our Sufferings...

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is to be revealed to us. (Romans 8.18 ESV)
When life is hard, sometimes it seems unbearable and unprofitable to even step out of bed in the morning.  Work is a chore.  The house is a mess.  It can be so discouraging.  Is life even worth living?  

Another perspective: Life truly is hard.  It is difficult to wake up thousands of miles from my wife and children.  I hope to have a day without being beaten.  Maybe I will get food that is fresh.  Will I get a letter from family or friends? A visit from a lawyer?  I know my captors will demand I deny Christ.  I cannot do that. Christ is my life.  I am bruised and may never fully recover from my injuries.  Will I even live to see the outside of this prison?  Will I ever see my home again?  Will I ever hold my children or kiss my wife again?  This life is difficult.  

Both instances show the struggles of a Christian life.  For us in our current freedom in the United States, the first is more relatable.  Our sufferings come within the bounds of religious freedom.  Our sufferings of persecution are normally within the legal realm or weathering disparaging comments.  

The second instance is how I imagine Pastor Saeed Abedini feels being locked up in Iran's infamous Evin Prison.  His offense? Being an active Christian.

Picture from a WND article
The above Scripture may well mean more to Pastor Saeed Abedini than it does to us.  However, no matter how bad it gets for Christians here in the U.S.A. (or how relatively good we have it), nor how bad it is for men like Pastor Abedini, our sufferings pale in comparison to the wonders God has in store for His children.  

When we get frustrated with the daily grind, we can rejoice that this place is not our home.  If we belong to Jesus, our reward (paid for by Jesus, not us) is great.  Such a great gift comes from an unfathomingly* great God.  His blessing will out-shine the darkness of even our worst sufferings.

Pete Garbacki is a minister with 
Time for Truth Ministries and Mission.Brasil. Follow him on Twitter @mission_brasil or FaceBook at

*Apparently, according to spellcheck, this is a word I made up.  However, I am sticking to it, because it should be a word.

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