Today’s Scripture: And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope. Romans 5:3-4
Many years ago, in the early church of Smyrna, there was an elderly man name Polycarp. The Roman Empire was turning up the intensity of their persecution. They thought that if they could take out this Godly leader, they could squelch Christianity.
Roman soldiers arrived at his old farmhouse. Rather than hiding in fear, Polycarp invited them into his home to join him for a meal. As he knelt there praying aloud, the soldiers began to wonder why they had been sent. This man was not a threat. He was willing to be arrested and went without any resistance. At his trial, he was given the opportunity to recant Jesus Christ and be freed. Otherwise, he was to be burned at the stake. His inspiring response was: “Eighty and six years have I served Him, and never did He me injury. How then can I blaspheme my King and my Savior?”
To Rome that was a blasphemous statement. Polycarp was burned alive. Those who witnessed his death said that his face reflected the joy of God through the flames. He was an incredible testimony during an unimaginable trial. His moment of pain lead to an eternity of joy, for the next thing he saw was the face of His Savior.
Why would God allow a faithful man to be put in such a terrible situation? Because, as believers we can glory in tribulation. Through life’s difficulties, we can show God’s peace and love. For the time being, life is like a tapestry which we can only view from the back with strings crossed over each other in a seemingly senseless pattern, dangling threads, and no discernible color scheme. However, when viewed from the front, the tapestry has amazing intricacy only attained through a well-executed master plan.
Every day that you yield to the Lord will change you to become more like Him. Accept what God is doing in your life and be a testimony in your trial. There is a plan despite the pain.
Devotional by Jim Scudder, Jr.