A repost from a previous vigil - written by Jojo Ruba from Faith Beyond Belief .
There are three lessons
Christians need to remember about adversity.
1. We need to expect
adversity. As Christians who are representing a good God to a willfully evil
world, we’re not going to be popular. Christians sometimes think our job is to
help people feel better but our job is to help people be better.
There was a time when the church was very powerful--in the time when
the early Christians rejoiced at being deemed worthy to suffer for what they
believed. In those days the church was not merely a thermometer that recorded
the ideas and principles of popular opinion; it was a thermostat that
transformed the mores of society. Whenever the early Christians entered a town,
the people in power became disturbed and immediately sought to convict the
Christians for being "disturbers of the peace" and "outside agitators."' But the
Christians pressed on, in the conviction that they were "a colony of heaven,"
called to obey God rather than man. Small in number, they were big in
commitment. They were too God-intoxicated to be "astronomically intimidated." By
their effort and example they brought an end to such ancient evils as
infanticide and gladiatorial contests. Things are different now. So often the
contemporary church is a weak, ineffectual voice with an uncertain sound. So
often it is an archdefender of the status quo. Far from being disturbed by the
presence of the church, the power structure of the average community is consoled
by the church's silent--and often even vocal--sanction of things as they
Martin Luther King Jr., Letter from a Birmingham Jail.
Adversity should not come because of bad character but because of good
character. There is no command that says though shall be nice but we are to
love. True love means we speak truth and are willing to offend.Don’t we do that
with those who we love the most?
3. Facing adversity is a privilege. God
only brings adversity to those who can handle it and those who He wants to use
to show His power:
“In selecting his witnesses, God looks for
loyalty. Some of Daniel’s friends didn’t make it. Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and
Azariah were chosen out of a group (Daniel 1:6). The other ten or twenty do not
appear on God’s lists. They sink into self-chosen anonymity. They have allowed
the world to decide their lifestyle and to set their standards of right and
wrong. They have willed to sacrifice their distinctive marks because they can’t
bear to be different from the word.
The lion’s den is
not for them. The lion’s den is only for those with lion’s den loyalty. We need
to ask ourselves, Am I living with the world or as its victim? Am I unnamed on
God’s lists, or am I willing to be his chosen representative in some dark
R. Arthur Matthews, Born for Battle