We returned from India March 3. Great trip. Always good to be with believers on their turf in their home country. Always inspiring and humbling to hear their stories. As expected, my teaching on theology of suffering paled in comparison to the suffering we learned about from the Indian church leaders. Here are several comments and examples they had on this topic:

  • Beating up a pastor
  • Imprisonment
  • Jesus went through suffering so we will too
  • We pray so we can go through it
  • Our persecutors don’t know they are persecuting
  • I know I’m not doing anything wrong
  • It’s a privilege and encourages me because I’m doing it for Christ
  • Suffering is part of following Christ
  • Blessed are those who suffer
  • God has promised he will not leave us
  • I was a persecutor of the church, so I know what can happen. I’m like Saul was
  • We include suffering as part of the discipleship process from the beginning
  • I give new believers a New Testament to read and God will teach them
  • Men of the village came to stop our church service so we invited them in, and after we prayed they were changed. Now they have joined the church

These leaders are joyful in the midst of suffering and persecution. They count the cost as small compared to the freedom in Christ they now have. Their environment is normal to them, and as daily life goes on they live the love of Christ wherever they go. They are eager to share the Good News with others so they are free and forgiven, too.

Til next week,