This week, while contemplating on this study, I've been thinking about the struggles of our Christian life. Modern Christians in the United States have it relatively easy. The very worst we encounter is that someone on Facebook might call us "weak-minded" or "stupid" and challenge our knowledge or engage us in a debate.
The believers in the first Century, however, had such struggles, such hardship, such persecution. As compared to them, I have no idea what it means to suffer for my faith.
But there are plenty of others in this world who do face all kinds of pain and struggle because of Jesus. Persecution of Christians is prominent in many cultures. Many are beaten, imprisoned, murdered for their faith. Others suffer through poverty because they refuse to steal or cheat others because of their Christian standards.
So, it's easy to be a Christian in the United States, yes? There are no challenges in a land wherein a church is built on every corner, right?
I have friends who are missionaries. Actually, several of them. A few of them live in or have experienced the challenges of being a Christian in a physically hostile environment where witchcraft and religious oppression are common. They all say that it is more difficult to be a Christian in the U.S.
What? But we have all our needs covered. If someone hurts us for our faith we have a legal system to protect us. We have rights!
Well, that's kind of the thing. We don't HAVE to rely on God. It's easy to think that we are protected by the government, that we provide our own needs, that we are safe. Thank you very much, we are Americans and we can pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps.
And all the while we forget who it is that sustains us. Ours is a struggle of complacency, being to comfortable, too lazy in our faith.
While we fight a different kind of oppression, we are still under the persecution of the accuser who would have us renounce our faith and give in to him.
Please Note: I received a free copy of this Bible study in exchange for a review.