Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection: And others had trial of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of bonds and imprisonment: They were stoned, they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain with the sword: they wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins; being destitute, afflicted, tormented; (Of whom the world was not worthy:) they wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.
This is an aspect of faith that we don’t really like to think about. But the truth is that our faith in God at times will result in suffering, affliction, tragedy, and hurt. That’s part of life in a sinful world. That’s part of being on the opposing side in enemy territory. That’s part of taking a stand for God and refusing to compromise. That’s part of being committed to God above all else. That’s part of that narrow road of discipleship to which Jesus calls us that means we have to take up our cross and follow Him.
Our faith doesn’t always lead us to the best of things here, but it does enable us to endure through suffering. Those great tragedies and trials come. We do suffer. We may even be killed for our faith. But that is the least that can happen. Something more is to come, and it is surely to come. So we can live our lives differently here when we truly believe that. We can endure what might seem like unbearable things because this flesh and this world and the suffering it brings are only temporary.
And truly no matter what we endure here, it only pales in comparison to what Jesus endured for us. He, too, suffered immensely during His time on Earth. He, too, felt the hurt of life in a sinful world. But He went through it all willingly out of love and by God’s grace. And we can do the same. When a passionate love for Christ burns in our hearts, we may be surprised what we are willing to endure for His sake. And we can be assured that His grace will carry us through every trial we may face.
Life in this world can sometimes seem so chaotic and troublesome, but God is in control. When we know God and we know how real He is and that He is near and He is working, we can face difficult things without fear. Trusting in the promises of God unfailingly enables us to endure the hardships of life. We know He will always be with us. His will is done in every situation. This is not our end here, but we have a heavenly home. And it will be worth it to be found faithful when all is said and done. So let us endure as we live with the faith and the blessed hope of something more to come.