Okay, somehow it has been neither easy nor hard for me to seek justice for God’s children. It just is the way God leads. But that is not enough, if you can imagine.

The Apostles rejoiced that they were considered worthy to suffer for the sake and cause of Jesus Christ.

HEARTFIREGamaliel said,“ ‘We should keep away from these men for now. We should leave them alone. I can guarantee that if the plan they put into action is of human origin, it will fail. However, if it’s from God, you won’t be able to stop them. You may even discover that you’re fighting against God.’ The council took his advice. They called the apostles, beat them, ordered them not to speak about the one named Jesus, and let them go.

The apostles left the council room. They were happy to have been considered worthy to suffer dishonor for speaking about Jesus. Every day in the temple courtyard and from house to house, they refused to stop teaching and telling the Good News that Jesus is the Messiah” (Acts 5:38-42 God’s Word ©).

I’ve got the “refused to stop” part figured out. But when I am persecuted and condemned and lied to and about because of doing the good Jesus asks, I have not been “happy”. Who would be?

Well, the Apostles were. Jesus was perfect and yet was persecuted, tortured and murdered for living love, teaching service and performing wonders.

Paul gave testimony to this reality by saying, “But you know all about my teachings, my way of life, my purpose, my faith, my patience, my love, and my endurance. You also know about the kind of persecutions and sufferings which happened to me in the cities of Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra. I endured those persecutions, and the Lord rescued me from all of them. Those who try to live a godly life because they believe in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:10-12 God’s Word ©).

INSANEI have suffered racist attack, lost my job, had my career ripped away, was betrayed by people I thought were my friends and lost about half a million dollars. I did not rejoice. I cannot say I was happy. Deep inside I knew the peace of Christ in all this, but I never celebrated.

The culture I live in does not honour suffering, only success. I confess I was influenced by that and didn’t really know it.

Jesus, I don’t mind when You turn the world upside down. But when You turn me upside down, well, that is harder to take. Please give my brain an attitude transplant, because I sure can’t act like this on my own.

This Lent I am being led on a pilgrimage. I do not yet know if it is from persecution or to suffering or through both. Nevertheless the journey has begun.

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