If you consider where we live, you shouldn’t be surprised by the trials we face (not referring to Wisconsin!). Living in a sinful world means the effects of sin are always around us. Illness, wars, personal troubles, stressed relationship, a struggling economy. Add in the hardships, rejection, and persecution that come from being a Christian and we see that life is filled with troubles. Peter put our sufferings and trials in their proper context: "Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name." (1 Peter 4:12–16 NIV)

Nothing strange happens as we live in a sinful world. Christ suffered and was rejected; we are called “Christians.”

Knowing that we will suffer as Christians doesn’t take the pain away. The heart may still ache; and world may still persecute, but we are reminded that our real home is with our Lord in heaven. This is a temporary stop. Jesus has taken away our sins and prepared us to live in the presence of God.

As the troubles continue, look up. Jesus has a far better home for us than this world. He will take us to be with him in heaven. And until you get there, he will not leave you!

Pastor Tim Wempner

Pastor Joshua Zarling