If we were to sum up the early Christians’ response to government, it would be non-compliance. How did they do it?
2:33 but whoever listens to me [the Spirit] will live in [spiritual] safety and be at ease, without fear of harm [death].
Patient endurance is a truly Christian trait. It requires knowing what is waiting on the other side of the trial. In passing through the valley of the shadow of death, we always know that green pastures are at the end of the valley. We also have a Good Shepherd who will see us through to those pastures. Here are some verses that speak of patient endurance,
6 If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. 2 Corinthians 1:6
9 I, John, your brother and companion in the suffering and kingdom and patient endurance that are ours in Jesus, was on the island of Patmos because of the word of God and the testimony of Jesus. Revelation 1:9
10 “If anyone is to go into captivity, into captivity they will go.
If anyone is to be killed with the sword, with the sword they will be killed.”
This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of God’s people. Revelation 13:10
12 This calls for patient endurance on the part of the people of God who keep his commands and remain faithful to Jesus. Revelation 14:12
I found it interesting that Revelation, which was written to First Century Christians, speaks of patient endurance three times. That’s quite a theme, especially during a time of such trial. What gives Christians hope is knowing that death has been conquered and Jesus will see us through to the other side. There is one more passage that speaks of great patience and endurance that sums up the Christian’s life in Christ. It is Colossians 1:9-14,
9 For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you. We continually ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all the wisdom and understanding that the Spirit gives, 10 so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, 11 being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, 12 and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his holy people in the kingdom of light. 13 For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
Tomorrow, we will parse this passage by discovering its implications and uncovering a deeper meaning (the definition of “parse”).
Abba, we pray for patient endurance. The things most of us go through on a daily basis are not considered real trials. May we compare our trials to those of the early church and realize that we are extremely blessed. At the same time, each person’s trials are the world’s worst to him or her because it’s all he or she knows. May each of us learn to believe Your promises and trust You to lead us home. Amen.