No one wants to suffer. It is human nature to take, like an electron, the path of least resistance. After all, who would volunteer for persecution and misery?
However, suffering has a way of refining a person’s character. It is like a sander that smooths out the rough edges and gives the finished product a luster that wouldn’t be there if everything was rosy.
The Apostle Paul is a perfect example of a character shaped by suffering. The unique thing about Paul was that he was not part of the group of twelve Apostles that followed Jesus while he was alive. No, he was actually an adamant Jew named Saul and citizen of Rome.
He was not a fan of Christianity and went about persecuting the followers of Jesus. He and a group of his helpers were journeying to Damascus to seek out more Christians and take them bound to Jerusalem for torture when struck down by a blinding light and Jesus Christ spoke to him on the road.
“Saul, Saul, why persecutes thou me?”
Saul asked Jesus what he would have him to do. Jesus didn’t answer him right away. Instead he blinded him and sent him into the village to await His instructions. He waited on the Lord’s instructions for three days, blind and not taking either food or water. After three days, a messenger from Jesus came and laid hands on Saul, healed him and he was filled with the Holy Spirit.
His name was changed to Paul and he became a follower of Christ and preacher of the gospel. This was not the end of his suffering. He was imprisoned for the Lord’s sake more than once and admitted that he was a prisoner of the Lord, not men. The Lord shaped him by suffering in order to make Paul the strong disciple He needed.
Recently, Pastor Andrew Brunson, and American pastor in Turkey was arrested in October of 2016. He was recently released by the efforts of the Trump team. He had been charged with terrorism in connection with a coup attempt in Turkey.
Pastor Brunson said that initially he couldn’t understand why he was being treated so badly when he hadn’t done anything. He had been in Turkey for twenty years with no problems.
He later came to the conclusion that since the original disciples suffered for the Lord’s sake, it was his time to do the same.
He found value and blessings in his suffering.
In times past, when a person had an unattractive physical trait, they had to endure ridicule from their peers. They learned to compensate for the flaw by developing other characteristics that would compensate for whatever was unattractive in them. This made them a more dimensional person and built within them a better character for their suffering.
Today, there is more money and many people choose to have their physical flaws corrected with plastic surgery. They may be made more pleasing to the eye, but have found nothing else strong or fine in their character to distract from the physical.
Almost everyone is vanilla now, all relatively the same, without anything remarkable to recommend them. Not only do many look the same, they act the same, following whoever is the leader, thinking in conformed ways and eschewing opinions other than their own or those that go along with the accepted dialogue.
Everyone is easily offended themselves, but very willing to offend those who are not in lock step with them.
The old saying of, “You must stand for something or you will fall for anything,” is true.
People are afraid to stand against all of the rhetoric, protest and the violence that follows it. Those who do “protest,” such as Antifa, are obviously ashamed of what they are doing. (However, rioting, breaking personal property and hurting people is NOT protesting, it is chaos.)
If they really believed in their dogma, they would have their faces uncovered and be counted in what they are trying to achieve. With a covered face, it is easy to be in the action, get paid for the action and never really be accountable for the action. It is a very cowardly practice.
Like the protesters that wreaked havoc on the Kavenaugh hearings, it was easy to see that someone was coaching them. In fact, it was caught on camera as one man taught the group the chant for the protest, and another was caught paying protesters cash for their services.
The American People need to reach down into their core values and stand tall against this wave of insanity that is being proliferated in the United States.
Take back the country.
Image: Excerpted from: http://en.farsnews.com/newstext.aspx?nn=13970705000316
Candice Hardin is the editor of Bohemian Renaissance, a free literary magazine for emerging writers and artists to showcase their works in a non-profit atmosphere. It operates on the generosity of those who appreciate what it is doing and is available in traditional print as well as a downloadable form on the website, bohemianrenaissance.com. Bohemian Renaissance is a 501-3(c) organization, which allows all donations to be tax deductible. Please visit our website and accept our gratitude for all of those who are willing to see this magazine reach its goal of higher distribution and enjoyment of all.