Counted Worthy to Suffer for Jesus (Acts 4:23-31)
Jun 21, 2010 by Craig Blomberg | 1 Comments
“Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness.” (v. 29 TNIV)
I recently led my student mentoring group in a case study about a new seminary graduate with the luxury of selecting between two job offers—comparable calls to ministry at two very similar churches. We discussed what criteria should be used to choose, and the issue of feelings came up. If both churches are healthy, if both fit one’s own gifts and calling well, in fact if the only noticeable difference between the two is that one presents a challenge that creates a certain anxiety in the prospective pastor, while the other one elicits just a sense of peace and comfort, should those feelings tip the scales in favor of the latter ministry opportunity?
After awhile, our one Chinese student jumped into the discussion with some passion. “We wouldn’t even be having this kind of conversation back home,” she insisted. “Everyone who goes into ministry knows the potential for suffering for Jesus. Even if a particular option produced a current sense of peace, no one would assume that would last!”
The twelve apostles were more like contemporary Chinese than American Christians in this respect. They praised God for their preservation and release after their arrest, but then prayed that this not deter them from speaking boldly about Christ. How often do we pray for God’s Spirit to show us how best to enter the front lines of His battles, the places that make us feel the most insecure, rather than the most comfortable, so that He can be most glorified?