Among people, who are those who suffer well? It is those who own nothing of what they own.
These are prepared to lose everything, even while they have it all. It is the one who is determined, while in wealth and health, to die penniless and miserable. This one cannot be held hostage to expectations full of error. If prosperity of possessions continues to a peaceful death in his own bed, such a one will have lived his life without fear of loss.
Though all he has is taken. Though sickness viciously tears at his body. Though the wicked greed of man rips his belongings from his control. This one will prosper.
Yet is it enough to be stoic in our life? Is it necessary to pass by the loaf of bread while you have money and hunger? Is it right to purchase the rust bucket chariot so that you will suffer the pains of upkeep? Is it required of us to live under a pile of leaves in a part of the forest we don’t, and can’t own? Such people are not being responsible with what has been given them.
What provokes the Responsible life? Is it the desire of a man to become completely humble among all men? That mind-set is produced from the pride of life. Pride can’t, by its very nature, produce humility. Such a man might feel pretty proud of himself, after all, he has forsaken what other people crave. But his humility is crushed by a whisper of pride.
Jesus provokes the true strength of life. His strength in a man is beyond ALL the things of this world. Because His teaching and “in dwelling” comes from Heaven; a place which has never entertained the temporary wealth of this place. And NEVER will.
If we want to be strong. If we want to endure with stellar conviction. If we want to live that “over coming” life, we will have to appropriate the teaching and character of the Lord Jesus. While we live in relative peace, it is best to be prepared for the worst. Let us not compile “things” so that we will be able to endure hardship. Let us prepare our heart to be God’s champion, even if the entire world comes after us.
How does cancer become a trophy to be desired? How does molestation become a crown of joy? How does losing our job, or place in the family, become a stepping stone to eternally born victory? All these things, and the myriad of things that can happen to a person, become glory when we embrace failure. We love our weakness, because it gives us an opportunity to overcome! Even our own sins can become trophies of Grace. Such things can produce a certain kind of humility that cannot be manufactured by the desire of a man. Nor can it be purchased by any of our possessions.
We encounter hardship for the sake of Christ. We encounter hardship for the sake of testifying that God’s love and promise are vastly more, and true, than anything the world can provide. We testify that life can be lived, even while this world has strapped us to a post in the middle of a raging fire. We can clap our charred hands, even while the skin of our bodies walks toward becoming a lump of coal. Thus, we encourage others to love the God who bestows such incredible strength.
Let us testify that God in us, is greater than all things. Prosperity, health, wealth, sickness, persecution, joy, poverty, alienation, or fame, cannot take away the riches of Christ in any man! It is the man who counts any of these things as more valuable or stronger than the promise of God. This is the one who will likely lose it ALL.