The buttercups in our backyard were unusually bright and beautiful due to the generous amount of spring rain God sent our way. I wanted to take some pictures of them before they faded, but I had trouble getting close enough because they were growing in a very soggy wetland. One sunny afternoon, I pulled on a pair of boots and trudged through briers and brambles toward buttercup bog. Before I got any pictures, I got muddy feet, multiple scratches, and numerous bug bites. But seeing the buttercups made my temporary discomfort worthwhile.
Much of life is about “getting through” the trials and troubles that are inevitable in our sinful world. One of these trials is persecution. The disciples certainly found this to be true. They knew the good things that Jesus has ready for those who follow Him, but they met harsh resistance when they tried to tell others (Acts 14:5).
Those of us who have chosen God’s way, and who know from experience that it’s “a more excellent way” (1 Cor. 12:31), will persevere even when we have to go through danger and difficulty. By doing so, we show others a beautiful picture of God’s peace, mercy, and forgiveness. The joy that awaits will make our temporary discomfort worthwhile.
As sure as night, life’s troubles come,
As sure as day, they’re past;
But surer still that endless joy
When heaven we reach at last. —D. De Haan
Earth—the land of trials; heaven—the land of joys.