2 Timothy 1:8 So Do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, or of me his prisoner. Rather, join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God.
The boys stood in front of me quiet, but confident. A band of brothers. They made a pact and they were sticking to it. "Which one of you put this hole in the wall", I asked, for the umpteenth time. "I don't know, ma", they each replied, with low mumbles and shrugged shoulders. "Somebody has to know something. The hole wasn't there this morning. Y'all better start talking!" Still, no one knew anything. They had their story, and for the sake of brotherhood, they were sticking to it. They stood there, together, in unity! "Well, fine!" I say calmly, as I walked away. "Since no one seems to know what happened, all three of you are on punishment. You're all getting a spanking, too!" Within seconds, "Nooo, ma. It was Jaylen.", Donnie cries out. "He was running down the hall and fell."
So much for brotherhood, huh! It was easy for them to stick together when the consequences were merely angry stares and unrelenting questions. But when the unity started to come with possible suffering, togetherness wasn't looking so great.
We all can relate to this story. We've had that one sibling or that one friend that would be there when things were easy, but would quickly leave when times got tough. Perhaps we've been that person ourselves. In 2 Timothy 1:8, we are urged to join in the suffering for the gospel. Wow! Are we really expected to suffer in order to be a Christian? Times have changed since those days, right? We are no longer thrown in prison for our belief in Christ. So how must we join together in suffering for the gospel? I suppose it all depends on your idea of suffering. Maybe it's easy for you to unite together on Sunday morning and love the Lord and your church family, until you're asked to attend bible study on Wednesday night. Or maybe you can stand tall for God and shout of His awesome wonder, until you're asked to talk to your "other" friends about Jesus. It could be that you're willing to give your heart and time to the church, until you are reminded to tithe! Hmmmm, are we still standing united?
Choosing to walk with Jesus is a tremendously wise and great decision. Securing your seat at the table of God in Heaven is a #Goal we all should have. But with that comes the ocassional "suffering". It won't always be easy. Sometimes it will be down right hard. But trying to live without Jesus will always leave you broken, alone and suffering... continuously. As a church, sometimes it may be easier to stick with some people than others. We may have to put in extra effort to connect with others. In this month of unity, lets continue to make the effort to stand together. Verse 7 says For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline! Let's hold on to that power and love and self-discipline, and let's do it, together. A band of Faith brothers and sisters.
Father we thank you that your Spirit gives us power, love and discipline. Help us to count on one another as we walk in unity and join in the suffering for your gospel. We rest assured that you will always be with us, never leaving us, to help us through it all. In Your son Jesus' name. Amen
By: April Carter