How the Cross Brings Joy

(Image Credit: iBelieve.com)

I click open my email and scroll through my new messages.

I’ve received a new email from Voice of the Martyr’s prayer project, icommittopray.com. The prayer needs are always overwhelming:

In Nepal a pastor is beaten for giving out Bibles.

Twenty-nine teenaged schoolboys were killed in an overnight attack at a boarding school in Nigeria.

A Moroccan woman dropped her daughter off at school, but then was attacked outside of it by three Muslim women who discovered she was a Christian.

I can’t help but wonder: if faced with the persecution that other Christians around the world are faced with, would I still be a Christian?

I wonder: how do they endure?

***

The physical agony began in Gethsemane as Jesus begged for the experience of God’s wrath to be removed while his sweat pooled like drops of blood on the ground.

The agony extended to his beating, the mockery, the crown of thorns, the long walk down the Via Dolorosa, and the slice of Roman nails into his hands and feet. It continued when Christ cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

Many throughout history have been crucified, but Jesus purposed his own crucifixion.

I wonder: why did he endure?

***

Perhaps Hebrews 12:1-2 gives me a clue . . .

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