The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis
Book 1 -Admonitions Profitable for the Spiritual Life
Chapter 18 Of the Example of the Holy Fathers
Heb. 13:7 “Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith.”
God has been gracious to us and not left us here on earth the fumble around and hope for the best. In His letter to us we can find many examples of men and women who lived lives that were pleasing to God. Here’s the thing – when we are wholeheartedly committed to following Christ we aren’t promised an easy or perfect life. For our faithful forefathers quiet the opposite was true.
King David says in Psalms 9:3 “O LORD, see how my enemies persecute me! Have mercy and lift me up from the gates of death” In 2 Cor. 12:10
Paul talks about his persecution this way, “That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.”
Hebrews 11:36-38 talks about other various sufferings from men of old. “Some faced jeers and flogging, while still others were chained and put in prison. They were stoned; they were sawed in two; they were put to death by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated- the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground.”
Why did they endure hunger, thirst, cold, nakedness, tiredness and persecution? Because they had faith. They believed God was GOD. His ways were not their ways and they trusted Him. Their perspective wasn’t on the comfort of the moment, but on the eternal consequences.
Hebrews 1:1-3 “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. 2 For by it the people of old received their commendation. 3 By faith we understand that the universe was created by the word of God, so that what is seen was not made out of things that are visible.”
So why do we so often make choices that lead to our comfort and ease?