For you have been given not only the privilege of trusting in Christ but also the privilege of suffering for him.
Since we live in a time where society turns privileges into entitlements, this verse really makes me stop and think. Christmas presents, education, homeownership, healthcare, employment, etc. are all privileges whereas people nowadays regularly take them all for granted. Soon it isn’t enough for everyone to be offered an education because a hierarchy will evolve in that achievement and then it becomes necessary for everyone to be offered the exact same quality of education, home, pay, or whatever. There’s no end in sight. But if we simply enjoy and make the most of the privileges we are given, that’s something else entirely.
My granny grew up during The Depression in a company town (Sugarland in Texas). She recalls just being grateful all the time to have a school to go to, even if it wasn’t fancy, clothes to wear, even if they were hand-me-downs, and food on the table, even if it lacked variety. She didn't grow up confusing entitlement with privilege. Today’s youth would be so consumed by what someone else has that they wouldn’t even enjoy or appreciate what they themselves have. People have drastically changed with the times.
So a little perspective for my heart would be great at this point. God didn’t have to give me Jesus but he did. Trusting in Christ is not something I’m entitled to; it’s a gift. And now that I have it, do I look around and see what I don’t have thereby making me unsatisfied with what I’ve been given? Do I demand God do thus and such for me because I do him a favor everyday by trusting in him? Is that how I view our relationship?
Hebrews 12:2 describes just exactly what I should look around at, and it isn’t in my neighbor’s window. I must “keep (my) eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects (my) faith.” He gives me what I need, not the other way around and not according to what someone else has. He personally tailors my life with him just for me and I will love whatever that is!
Side note: I wonder if our government will one day decide that eternal life for only some isn’t fair and decide to grant it to all? Some of those guys are arrogant enough to try!
You are a pleasure and a privilege to be around, to talk to, and to trust. I love you so much. Thank you for freeing me from comparing my life and my faith to someone else’s. What you have for me is good and satisfying and I choose to trust you every day because you give me the opportunity not because you owe me a thing. You don’t. Your mercy and grace is so amazing and powerful and I appreciate all you’ve done for me. Thank you so much! Amen!