Beyond Earthly Suffering: The Eternal Perspective of Faithful Service

Acts 24:27b
…Felix, willing to show the Jews a pleasure, left Paul bound.

What do you do when the pain of serving God comes as a consequence of another man’s pleasure? What reward is this? That a servant is rewarded suffering for sacrifice, abandonment for allegiance, and jail time for preaching the liberating Gospel? Oh, but before you rush to judgment, know this; the death blows of your enemy are not your reward. It is the lie of the enemy to ask and taunt you while in your chains, “Where is your God now? Is this how He pays?” If you’re not careful, you will mistakenly classify your suffering as your reward. It may very well be a reward, but make no mistake about it; this reward is not from your Heavenly Father! Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him (see 1 Cor. 2:9)! You may have heard of the old missionary couple who had been working in Africa for years and who had returned to New York to retire. As they returned, they discovered they were booked on the same ship as President Teddy Roosevelt, who was returning from one of his big-gaming hunting expeditions. No one paid any attention to the missionaries. They watched the fanfare that accompanied the President’s entourage, and as the ship moved across the ocean, the old missionary said to his wife, “Something is wrong. Why should we have given our lives in faithful service to God in Africa all these many years and have no one care a thing about us?” Later that night the man’s spirit broke. He said to his wife, “I can’t take this; God is not treating us fairly.” His wife replied, “Why don’t you go in the bedroom and tell that to the Lord?” A short time later he came out from the bedroom, but now his face was completely different. His wife asked, “Dear, what happened?” “The Lord settled it with me”, he said. “I told Him how bitter I was that the President should receive this tremendous homecoming, when no one met us as we returned home. And when I finished, it seemed as though the Lord put His hand on my shoulder and simply said; “But you’re not home yet.” Dear child of God, it’s not over until God says it’s over. Press on, it won’t be very long and we’ll all be home, entering into the joy of our Lord!


~ Pastor Gary Caudill
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