Bearing His Name
Yet if any of you suffers as a Christian, do not consider it a disgrace, but glorify God because you bear this name. 1 Peter 4:16
Have you heard the expression, "throw in the towel?" It comes from boxing when the fighter tosses their towel into the ring and concedes a fight. Often, this happens when the boxer has suffered an injury that prevents them from continuing the match.
Any time we witness Christ, we will face opposition. What we intend as a message of spiritual freedom and deliverance is heard as a threat because it means changes—a turning from sinfulness to righteousness. We may suffer in the rejection of this message, but we aren't fighting for some silly inconsequential worldly boxing match but that others may hear the Good News of Jesus Christ. We should not feel disgraced when we suffer, for our experiences, serve as a testimony to God's greatness to others, "Look at what God has brought me through!"
Sometimes though, we may feel like that boxer that has been pummeled. We are reeling against the ropes, exhausted and battered. Satan has no compassion, only punishment; he wants to see us go down. As a result, we are sometimes tempted to throw in the towel; we just want it to end. But in those times, we feel defeated; we have God providing us with the strength and courage to continue to bear his name. He wraps us in his arms of compassion. He is always in our corner.
God, thank you for making us messengers. Grant us the courage to share the Good News. Give us the strength to face suffering. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.