A lifestyle choice
Has there ever been a culture as addicted to pleasure as our own? Comfort is king.
In the West we are risk averse and avoid pain at all costs. We complain bitterly when we are disappointed. When things don’t go our way, we are shattered.
Qaiser Julius tells me that Pakistani Christians are tempted just as we are to resist or flee from suffering.
“We do not seek suffering. But when persecution comes Christians must embrace it. Not as victims but as disciples following in our master’s footsteps. Suffering is to be expected. We need to get used to it. The Bible teaches us that suffering is a gift and a source of joy. Joy and suffering are indispensable and inseparable parts of Christian living. This is how God is glorified.”
“How can we be salt and light if we hide from the world? Indeed, the church will only survive if we learn to embrace suffering. As the missionaries who brought the Good News to Pakistan had no experience of persecution, we Pakistani Christians are having to discover for ourselves how to respond to suffering.”
Show and tell
Because it is neither comfortable not intuitive, the Good News of Jesus of Nazareth does need to be both lived and explained. Show and tell.
We must faithfully and fearlessly preach Christ crucified, and repentance and forgiveness of sins in his name. To this we have been called because Christ suffered for us, leaving us an example, that we might follow in his steps.
Pray for Qaiser as he completes his doctoral studies in Australia and returns to continue his ministry in Pakistan.
Qaiser Julius director of the Open Theological Seminary in Lahore.