By Corey Bailey
Over and over again I realize what a blessing it is to be “bored” or to sit in rush hour traffic, day in and day out. What a gift to not have to worry if a mob of people, angry that you have decided to follow Jesus, will descend upon your house and beat you, or rape your daughters. When I hear of stories like that, I realize that my faith has not been tested in the same as the believers we come in contact with daily at ICC.
I have often suspected that we in the West who are “blessed to be bored” have a one sided view of the word “blessing.” Often it comes with the connotation of something that feels good. “I got a raise, what a blessing.” Or “I have the day off, what a blessing.” Or “It’s double coupon day, what a blessing.” While that’s true, and God lavishes on His children, I don’t think that the Bible promises that all blessings will “feel good.” In fact, I would like to propose that hardship, pain, suffering and persecution can be blessings of a deeper nature, and are also a gift.
I am not saying that God causes pain. No, I am saying that He can take great pain and turn it for good.
Can we really say that all of the pain the persecuted experience is a blessing? I think that we can. They have sacrificed everything, and have only Jesus to cling to. Their faith is tested in the fire as they “consider it pure joy to face trials of many kinds.” I would like to offer this for consideration: We are blessed because we are safe, and they are blessed because they are persecuted. We may pity the persecuted, but perhaps they are reaping a much greater benefit in the depth of their faith.