We must go through many hardships to enter the Kingdom of God.
Paul and Barnabus returned to those 3 cities to encourage those who had already become disciples to remain true to the faith. Paul and Barnabus had been beaten severely and it’s surely the cast that these new believers were going through various levels of persecution. Encouragement to remain true to the faith wouldn’t come if there hadn’t been discouragement and the contemplation of leaving the faith. Paul and Barnabus then normalized hardship for the believer. There will be many troubles and difficulties in following Jesus – and we must be true and go through them. We must persevere if we are going to enter the Kingdom of God.
As Peter wrote, “Don’t be surprised by the trials you are suffering through as if something stranger were happening to you” (1 Peter 4:12). Although avoiding pain is a natural reaction, I need to engage the struggles that come my way. In this life they will happen and I cannot run from them. To run from them would mean not remaining true to the faith. I must go through many hardship to enter the Kingdom of God. Enduring hardships in this world accomplishes God’s plan somehow. He allows that, if for no other reason that I must depend on Him for strength and wisdom. He si making me more like Jesus.
Father – I will remain true to the faith and I will endure hardships for the Kingdom. I want to see you and be in Your Presence forever… so enduring trials for a little while here is more than worth it! Thank you for the strength and wisdom I need to persevere.