We sat in the dark as the stories unfolded. Story after story of individuals who followed Christ through extreme persecution played out on the screen.
We saw Christians faithfully witnessing for Christ, fully aware of the severity of the consequences. They are beaten and killed. Children grow up without their fathers because they were imprisoned for the sake of Christ. They could be free from all this . . . if they would just be silent.
But their commitment to Christ matters more. And they’ve accepted the fact that to follow Christ doesn’t guarantee an easy life. On the contrary, the Bible makes it clear that suffering should be expected.
And they expect it.
They don’t deny that it’s difficult. It’s real. It’s hard.
But they view it as normal.
As we follow the stories of Christians the world over, we are faced with the fact that what we’ve grown up with as normal, is abnormal for most people.
At the end, the question is asked, “Is it worth it?”
And through the pain and hardship, the suffering and the loneliness, they affirm that, yes, Jesus is worth it.
The documentary ended and the lights went back on. We roused ourselves and stood up. But the question from The Insanity of God still rang in my ears.
Is it worth it?
Is Suffering Worth It?
It had been way too long of a day, but the questions still bothered me. Is all the suffering worth it? Do I somehow expect that my life should be free from fear and suffering when so many others are not? Am I committed to that same level of willingness to suffer?
Is it worth it?
But I already knew the answer. If 1,000 souls come to know Jesus through my testimony, yes of course, it would be worth it.
But dude! If one person comes to know Jesus through my testimony—all the loneliness, the fear, the pain, the suffering, would be worth it—no matter what I face. Eternal souls matter more. Jesus matters more.
Yes, part of me doesn’t want to face certain levels of uncomfortable. But that part of me doesn’t matter anymore. When I see my family going beyond racial bounds and all that they go through for the sake of Christ . . . when I see their lips tremble, when I see them flinch with pain, when I hear their voices shake with fear . . . my own personal loneliness, or even self-preservation doesn’t really matter anymore.
God is doing something. He has a whole story and plan going on. He’s not merely guiding my life and organizing events to prevent my own discomfort.
God Has a Bigger Vision
I have an entirely too small view of God if I think His purpose is to lead me from experience to experience. He’s been writing a masterpiece from before the beginning of time. God has a huge vision for all nations to come worship before Him. He is calling and reaching and bringing souls to Himself. He isn’t willing that any should perish, but that all would come to repentance. And He gives us a chance to join Him in this adventure.
Let’s not limit Him to a small personal mindset.God has a huge vision for all nations to come worship before Him. He is calling and reaching and bringing souls to Himself. Let’s not limit Him to a small personal mindset. Click To Tweet
Yes, God is working in our lives as individuals, but it’s so much bigger than that. Our God is greater than that. He’s working in marvelous ways. He’s leading the charge. He has greater plans than just us. Ourselves. Our lives.
And it might mean suffering. It might mean danger and discomfort. But when God calls, He enables. He is able to prepare us, fill us with His Spirit, lead us, and grace us with Himself.
But is it worth it?
God gave up everything to come to earth.
Was that worth it?
Maybe the more we understand how much it cost Him, how great His love was that He would sacrifice everything for us, the more we can love and sacrifice to see the lost brought home, and the broken redeemed.Maybe the more we understand how great His love was that He would sacrifice everything for us, the more we can love and sacrifice to see the lost brought home, and the broken redeemed. Click To Tweet
The more we grasp how precious Christ is, what it cost Him to redeem us, and what His redemption means for us, the more we will be compelled to share it with others.
Is it worth it?
Is it worth it to deny Christ’s call? Is it worth it to deny the good news to those who haven’t heard? Is it worth it to have your life the way you want it when Christ holds out a chance to be a part of His glorious plan?
In eternity, will it be worth it?