How God Gets Our Attention – Take That!
Key Bible Verse: For you have been given not only the privilege of trusting in Christ but also the privilege of suffering for him. – Philippians 1:29
Bonus Reading: 1 Peter 4:12-19
A muscular offensive lineman from the Florida State University football team was distributing Christian literature at an event sponsored by Campus Crusade for Christ. A younger, slightly built student perused one of the Christian brochures, looked squarely into the football player’s face, and spit at him. “That’s what I think of your Jesus!” he said.
The natural response for the lineman would have been a massive cross-body block. But this new Christian had been taught that he might receive persecution when standing up for Christ.
The Holy Spirit enabled him to respond in love. Pulling out his handkerchief, he said, “I want you to know that Jesus can wipe away your sins just as easily as I wipe this spit from my face.” He quietly walked away, avoiding an ugly confrontation, and also attracting an unlikely individual into the kingdom of God.
More than the brochure, the love of Christ embodied in the football player’s humility and gentleness delivered a convincing message. One year later, both men were serving in Christian ministry together.
Obstacles become opportunities when we see persecution as a unique privilege.
—John Hutchison in Thinking Right When Things Go Wrong
My Response: Am I open to “suffering according to God’s will”?
Thought to Apply: The Lord gets his best soldiers out of the highlands of affliction.—Charles Haddon Spurgeon
Adapted from Thinking Right When Things Go Wrong (Kregel, 2005)