“For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for him… “ (Reference: Philippians 1:29 )
The historic Anabaptists suffered. I think I have made that clear enough, several times over. But I also hope I have emphasized that the historic Anabaptists felt very close to God and clung to the Divine in order to withstand their persecution they were placed under. If that is not the case, then I have been remiss in giving you a complete picture of the historic Anabaptists. As I have said in previous days, this year considering the suffering and persecution of the historic Anabaptists has hit closer to home than five years ago. But I have also found my relationship with God is closer than it was five years ago. Part of that has been intentional; but has also been the leading of the Spirit.
Five years ago I wrote on this text [ To Believe and Suffer ] and I liked what I wrote then. Not enough to simply use it again; but enough to note it here. At that time a faithful reader pointed out that in the 1500’s life was harsher and the consequences for not living correctly were more strict and the punishment more physically painful. What we cringe it may not have been as out of line for them. But then again, in the recent decade (or maybe even longer) violence has escalated and each day someone or a bunch of someones encounter violence and death, and for causes that are much less imperative than faith beliefs. So maybe our current day is not that much less violent than the 1500’s. The reasons have changed but not the actions. And with that being the case, then the words of the historic Anabaptist believer, Paul Glock, are even more appropriate, and I leave then with you beloved as a parting thought. “With these words we commend you all together with ourselves to the faithful Father in heaven under his merciful protection and safekeeping. May he be your and our champion in all our troubles.” Selah!