Friday, February 10, 2012

Is it all worth it?

I love a lot of things, and people, and I guess I have a lot of love for scripture. I love when deciding to turn to a page in my Bible and just start reading, ends up providing me with a verse to live by. This happens to me quite often, I recommend all do this. More specifically, there was a day at camp this past summer that I will remember forever. God directed me to a passage in the Bible that reinforced my decision to share The Word and not be ashamed.

I was sitting with my good friend Bekah, 60 feet up in the air on the fourth and final tower of the ropes course(Don't worry mom and dad, I was clipped onto a wire that could hold me if something were to happen!) when I came across the end of Hebrews 10. I had read Hebrews 11(recommended to all) but decided I want to read the whole book, and I had finally made my way to the end. This was in between groups of campers so I was sitting and reading, Bekah was probably taking a cat nap, she liked to do that on the towers. I wasn't searching for anything in Hebrews, just casually reading, and I came across Hebrews 10: 32-35, "Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you endured in a great conflict full of suffering. Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions. So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded."

And it hit me. That's what I was at camp for. I had found God's light and wanted to share that with these kids, who some didn't even believe in God yet. I had faced persecution, yet I had to(got to) be the example for these campers that even with persecution and conflict, God prevailed. It became the verse I read and reread the rest of time I was at camp. God really showed me the scripture I needed to reassure me I was at camp for the right reasons, not just because the ropes course was fun!

I look at that verse today and realize that it's not meant solely for camp. I face persecution as a Christian, and conflict as a human being, every day. In college especially, I have been challenged to hold strong to my faith. There are many sins and temptations throwing themselves at me, and it would be so easy to give up confidence in my faith and 'enjoy' those earthly pleasures. But as God commands me here in this passage, I will not throw away my confidence, I will not give in just because it's hard to be a Christian, and I will be "richly rewarded" for holding out.

If I can show just one person who has not seen God, that yes, it is hard to have a strong faith, but the persecution and conflict go away in the end, leaving just the joy of God and His love, I believe I have done my job. So I will stand by those who have been persecuted for their faith because I know how it feels. I would much rather stand by the persecuted than the persecutors. What do they get in the end?

*My beautiful Aunt Alice suggested that I end my blog posts with a question for those of you reading, which I think is a great idea. I will try to have a question at the end of each from now on but I can't make any promises!

Question: Who can you think of that needs a reminder that being persecuted for a strong faith is worth the reward in the end? Talk to them, encourage them. If it's yourself, talk to me! I would love to stand by you!

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