I was reading the passage below from 1 Cor 4:8-13 today and I was amazed to hear the Apostle Paul describing himself and comparing what he was experiencing in his walk with Jesus compared to others who were prideful about their position in life. Again I began to think of believers in other parts of the world in our day standing strong for Jesus. I began to wonder if these same words might be spoken to us who have no care or concern for those suffering in their stand for Jesus. Read 2 Corinthians 4 in this light:
“8 You think you already have everything you need. You think you are already rich. You have begun to reign in God’s kingdom without us! I wish you really were reigning already, for then we would be reigning with you. 9 Instead, I sometimes think God has put us (apostles) on display, like prisoners of war at the end of a victor’s parade, condemned to die. We have become a spectacle to the entire world—to people and angels alike.
10 Our dedication to Christ makes us look like fools, but you claim to be so wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are so powerful! You are honored, but we are ridiculed. 11 Even now we go hungry and thirsty, and we don’t have enough clothes to keep warm. We are often beaten and have no home. 12 We work wearily with our own hands to earn our living. We bless those who curse us. We are patient with those who abuse us. 13 We appeal gently when evil things are said about us. Yet we are treated like the world’s garbage, like everybody’s trash—right up to the present moment.”
What could we do as the church of the West to better identify ourselves with our hurting, destitute, and persecuted brothers and sisters in the world? If we were considered weak, foolish, or even garbage for the name of Jesus, would we stumble in our walk or remain strong?