Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. John 15:20a
“Why would God tell those whom He calls, that following Him will lead to persecution, trial, and tribulation? What if God knows something about this road of suffering that we don’t? What if it’s actually in the middle of suffering where He is nearest, where we come to know Him most intimately? If persecution, trial, and tribulation lead to those things, aren’t they worth it?
In God’s mysterious providence, I don’t know why it works this way, but I do know we can trust the Lord and experience His tender mercies even amid suffering. Don’t get me wrong, I am seduced by comfort and a quiet life as much as anyone, but I want to desire more of God regardless of what comes with it…
The way of the world looks easier, but it’s a fountain of unquenched desire. The way of Jesus looks harder, but it’s an ocean of joy and peace.”
Michael Blue in Free to Follow: Discover the Riches of a Surrendered Life (Thirsty Land Press: Austin, 2020) 118.
Today is Christmas.
Really, it is for us in two ways. I got this book in the mail that I was privileged to endorse. Opening the package was a celebration. Buy it. Read it. It’s a winner.
And, by God’s grace, our son, Sammy, and his wife, Emily, recovered from COVID. So, Jenni and I will finally get together with them and our daughter, Sophie, and her husband, Peter, today.
The presents have waited patiently under the tree.
What interesting times these are! We are seduced by comfort, as my friend Michael puts it. Yet, everything the world offers will never quench the deepest desires of our hearts.
Jesus invites us to take an alternative path, and calls us to remember the cost. We will likely be persecuted. How’s that for an invitation?
But Michael notices keenly that this path satisfies and leads to peace and joy. Want to discover the riches of a surrendered life?
Desire more of God regardless of what comes with it. Echoing our Lord Jesus, Michael reminds us that it will cost us everything, but the gain will be incalculable.
Generosity is taking this countercultural path and inviting everyone you know to come and die with you.