Persecution Helps Spread the Gospel

“I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake.” (2 Corinthians 12:10).

When I read this text this morning, the sun was not yet up, it was  dark outside, and my heart wanted to see the sunrise, to bring light back into my soul. But it is true, facing humans takes courage when they have the power to threatened, terrorize, or destroy me, I tend to run away. But I felt differently when I read this perspective, out of an old book, I have reread every year, on a daily basis, even to my sons at breakfast in their high school years.

“In every age God’s chosen messengers have been persecuted; yet through their affliction, the knowledge of God has been spread abroad. Every disciple of Christ is to step into the ranks, and carry forward the same work, knowing that its foes can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth. God means that truth shall  be brought to the front, and become the subject of examination and discussion, even through the contempt placed upon it.   The minds of the people must be agitated; every controversy, every reproach, every effort to restrict liberty of conscience, is God’s means of awakening minds that otherwise might slumber.

“How often this result has been seen in the history of God’s messengers!  When the noble and eloquent Stephen was stoned to death at the instigation of the Sanhedrin council, there was no  loss to the cause of the gospel.  The light of heaven that glorified his face, the divine compassion  breathed in his dying prayer, were as a sharp arrow of conviction to the bigoted Sanhedrist who stood by, and Saul, the persecuting Pharisee, became a chosen vessel, to bear the name of Christ before Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel.  And long afterward Paul the aged wrote from his prison-house at Rome:  “Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife, . . .not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds. . . .Notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is preached.”  Through  Paul’s imprisonment the gospel was spread abroad, and souls were won fro Christ in the very  palace of the Casesars.   By the efforts of Satan to destroy it, “the incorruptible seed” of the Word of God, “which liveth and abideth forever,” is sown in the hearts of men; through the reproach and persecution of His children, the name of Christ is magnified, and souls are saved.” Sons and Daughters of God, Ellen White.

If I could pick a hero from the human race, it would be Ben Carson, a surgeon, dad, husband, father, administrator, health minded, executive, trained in team management, based on principals he has found that work in the Bible. Working with others in a hospital setting is a challenge for all concerned! Everyone must know and have their own, “Job description.” And the workers need to know they will never be asked to spy on each other. The boss, if trustworthy, welcomes a good critique! Employes can help facilitate ideas they see that will improve the easy of helping the patients. It is the patient, that is the most important, in a hospital. And the God that guides the doctors hand, can be called in to help him, do his best, and give him peace of mind, that God will do the rest! Humans are miracles to start with!