Today’s protocol: Testing now. Patience now. Endurance now. Loving God now. Crown of life afterward.
“Dear brothers and sisters, whenever trouble comes your way, let it be an opportunity for joy. For when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be strong in character and ready for anything. … God blesses the people who patiently endure testing. Afterward they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.” (James 1:2-4,12 NLT’96)
Dragged before the rulers for healing a crippled beggar and preaching a politically incorrect doctrine, Peter and John were commanded to no longer speak in the name of Jesus. They replied, “We cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.” (Acts 4:20)
Yet many church members will not talk about Jesus under any circumstances. Perhaps it is because they have not witnessed life-transforming acts of kindness that bring healing to crippled beggars in the name of Jesus. Perhaps they themselves are still crippled.
If a cripple is healed in the name of Jesus, won’t he tell everyone he knows? Why don’t more of us testify?
A great excerpt from Taylor Field’s Upside-Down Devotion: Extreme Action for a Remarkable God:
“‘… Sometimes you have to harden your heart in order to serve.’ … There is a certain kind of toughening that has to happen if we are to be truly devoted. We will encounter hurt feelings and discouragements and defeats, and it would be easy to simply bail when the first disappointments comes. So around the heart of compassion, I am always looking for toughness to develop, an unwillingness to quit, a bulldog steadfastness that is going to keep on, no matter what. In a lot of areas of service, I think tenacity is a lot more important than talent.”