As I am working on an upcoming message dealing with comfort something struck me…
In John 17 Jesus prays that as the world hates us, God will keep us here. He does not want us removed from the world although we are not of this world. However Jesus prays we are kept/protected from the evil one.
The word comfort typically means
the easing or alleviation of a person’s feelings of grief or distress.
comfortability, or being comfortable is a sense of physical or psychological ease, often characterized as a lack of hardship
However I think when we see believers in the early church they would not have been as comfortable (according to their context) as we are in ours.
Believers were constantly persecuted for their faith. I don’t mean just mocked and laughed at but death was often a reality for many.
Due to my cultural upbringing I do not expect persecution. In fact I think it is strange. I blame the wickedness of the world as if this is a new phenomenon. However in 1 Peter, we are told to not be surprised by moments of fiery trails. We are encouraged that if we suffer do it for righteousness sake.
When reading the New Testament we see that many believes who were actually living out their faith in the midst of culture were persecuted and their response was more Gospel.
I wonder what it would look like if we gave up what we thought would make us comfortable or what we are owed and just lived for Christ everyday.
If we are allowed to pray in public or if we have to secretly meet to do it. If we are treated with respect or if the entire world hated us. Jesus says that if the world hates us, we must remember it hated Him first.
I wonder if our lack of persecution has led us to being comfortable christians. We find ourselves seeking being content here rather than seeking Jesus being glorified everywhere.