Friends, when life gets really difficult, don't jump to the conclusion that God isn't on the job.
Instead, be glad that you are in the very thick of what Christ experienced. This is a spiritual refining process, with glory just around the corner.
If you're abused because of Christ, count yourself fortunate. It's the Spirit of God and his glory in you that brought you to the notice of others.
If they're on you because you broke the law or disturbed the peace, that's a different matter.
But if it's because you're a Christian, don't give it a second thought. Be proud of the distinguished status reflected in that name!
It's judgment time for Christians. We're first in line. If it starts with us, think what it's going to be like for those who refuse God's Message!
If good people barely make it, What's in store for the bad?
So if you find life difficult because you're doing what God said, take it in stride. Trust him. He knows what he's doing, and he'll keep on doing it.
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)