Several years ago, my family treated me to a wonderful surprise birthday gift. Knowing my love of smoking meats, they purchased a day-long lesson with a great pitmaster, Jake, who lives in a nearby city. It was a wonderful experience and I gleaned invaluable cooking tips from this master of the smoker. My family knew I would enjoy this experience because for months, I had been following his social media blogs and recommendations. In fact, nearly all of the equipment that I purchased is because he uses it in competition and for every day cooking. I have never been disappointed by emulating his choices. As I have stated to many friends, “If it is good enough for Jake, it is good enough for me!”
Let’s turn this statement around.
What if I knew of someone who suffered a great deal because of the choices he made to live his life? Would I be so willing to say the same and emulate his choices? If I knew someone who had been imprisoned and tortured for what they believed in, no matter how noble the cause, would I enthusiastically endorse their choices and state that it was good enough for them, it would be good enough for me?
Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated— of whom the world was not worthy—wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.
Hebrews 11:36-38 (ESV)
The author of the Book of Hebrews gives a sobering account of the great saints of God who led lives of great suffering. Why would anyone willingly choose a life of persecution, hardship, torture, and even death? God gives us the answer in the next two verses.
And all these, though commended through their faith, did not receive what was promised, since God had provided something better for us, that apart from us they should not be made perfect.
Hebrews 11:39-40 (ESV)
These saints suffered because of their faith in Jesus Christ. Their faith allowed them to see beyond their present circumstances and embrace the promise of a better life, through continual fellowship with God through belief in His Son, Jesus Christ. If it is good enough for the saints of God who gave their lives for Jesus Christ, it is good enough for me.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.