Preacher:“My child, when you come to serve the Lord, prepare yourself for testing.”
Seeker: I fear the Lord! How can I make myself worthy? What can I do to prepare myself?
Preacher:”Set your heart right and be steadfast, and do not be impetuous in time of calamity.”
Seeker: I will ask the Lord to ready my heart and my spirit. I will ask the Lord’s blessing and ask for the gift of patience and fortitude.
Preacher:”Cling to him and do not depart, so that your last days may be prosperous.”
Seeker: The Lord will bless and I will follow my God. I will not worry or be concerned for my welfare is in God’s hands.
Preacher: “Accept whatever befalls you, and in times of humiliation be patient.”
Seeker: I will wait on my Lord, and live in the shadow of God’s benevolence and mercy. What Lord brings to me I will receive with thanksgiving. For the Lord’s sake I will endure what is to come.
Preacher: “For gold is tested in the fire, and those found acceptable, in the furnace of humiliation.”
Seeker: Though the fire burn my body and test my soul, I will follow the Lord. For the Lord’s sake I will walk through the forges of humiliation and death. I will not falter or turn back until the Lord brings me safely home.
Preacher:”Trust in him, and he will help you; make your ways straight, and hope in him.” (Reference: Sirach 2:1-6 )
We have spent a month now looking at the verses that the historic Anabaptists used as inspiration and encouragement for themselves and their fellow believers in the face of suffering. It is my hope and prayer some of their fortitude and strength of belief has been passed on to you beloved. Selah!