Bearing His Reproach
Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach. ~Hebrews 13:13
The believers whom Paul wrote to in the Book of Hebrews were going through much suffering. They faced rejection from family and friends for converting to Christianity. They lost their jobs and homes. Many had been displaced and had to uproot and move to a different part of the Middle East. There was financial loss, ridicule, rejection, and discouragement. Paul offers a word of strong encouragement. This morning, I want you to find hope and encouragement if you are going through a season of suffering for the Lord.
Let us go forth unto Christ with resilience.
It takes courage and resilience to stand up to persecution and suffering. Paul said, “Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp.” Just as Jesus endured the shame and reproach of sin, we should be courageous to accept the repercussions of living for Jesus. When a Christian really lives for Christ, his friendships will be limited. When a Christian really lives for Jesus, the world will seek to shame him and place doubts in his mind. When these things happen, it is not time to go into retreat or hiding. It is time to go unto Him. Go to the Lord and know that He is your Helper. You do not need to fear what man will do unto you.
Let us go forth unto Christ with rejoicing.
Peter said, “But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy.” Let us go forth unto Christ and consider it a privilege that we suffer for His name’s sake. Peter and John were beaten and censured for preaching the gospel. However, they rejoiced that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name. Peter was no stranger to being shamed for his relationship to Jesus. Yet, when suffering came, he had a joyful disposition because he knew that it was an entrustment from the Lord. Don’t allow ridicule and being criticized for preaching the gospel to discourage you. "Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, Rejoice"!
Let us go forth unto Christ in replication.
Jesus gave us an example of how to endure suffering. As we go forth unto Him, let us remember: “For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps.” Let us accept our suffering with humility. Let us accept our suffering as a means to draw us closer to Him. Let us accept our suffering as a means to teach us to wait on the Lord and develop patience. Let us accept our suffering as a character builder. “Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.”
Are you suffering? Is your suffering pulling you down? Look to Jesus, and go into His presence. Ask Him to make His grace sufficient for your need. Let His strength be made perfect as you become weaker. See God’s hand at work in you, developing you to be like gold coming forth from the fire. Suffering does not need to be your foe: see suffering as a friend to you.
Have an endurance-filled God Morning!
Bible Reading Schedule: Isaiah 31-35