Is your faith nearsighted?

Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living
 ©

He regarded disgrace for the sake of Christ as of greater value than the treasures of Egypt, because he was looking ahead to his reward.
(Hebrews 11:26 (NIV))

Have we become too nearsighted in our faith? Do we face things and expect God to give us our faith reward the very moment that we begin to suffer any type of hardship or setback?

Think about that for a moment.

Are you willing to face imprisonment the way that Paul did? Are you willing to face crucifixion the way that many of the disciples did? Are you willing to face public humiliation because you stand up for your faith?

Many men and women throughout history have had to suffer things far greater than disgrace. They paid the ultimate price for declaring faith in Jesus as their Lord and Savior. They refused to back down even in the face of death. Sometimes I wonder if we have sugar coated the Gospel in an effort to reach out to others, or perhaps in an effort to make the more difficult ideas and passages bearable and easier to swallow.

I know that everybody has heard the expression, “What would Jesus do?” He would do everything perfectly in the eyes of God. Perhaps we should ask ourselves, “What would the early church do?” or “What would Paul do?” The early church was on fire. They experienced firsthand many wondrous things that we can only read about. Their experiences enabled them to face anything that Satan could throw at them. They did not value their possessions or their lives. The only thing that had any value for them was the grace, mercy and salvation that Jesus promised would be theirs.

All too often we, as the “modern” church, take too much for granted. We apply the societal norm to our faith. We think that there is a “grace” credit card that we can use to get instant relief from the troubles of this world while we still seek after the things of this world. We want it all and we want it now.

How do you think that your faith compares to that of Paul? Did God prosper Paul with money and power, or did God use Paul for a mission that at times left him poor, hungry, and in prison? If Paul suffered these things, how do your sufferings and disgrace compare? How many of us actually face hardships close to what Paul faced for his faith?

Copyright 1998 – 2010 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
http://www.dailylivingministries.org
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