In this post-resurrection season, we are reminded that believing in Jesus always comes with a cost. In Philippians 1:29 Paul says, “For it has been granted to you that for the sake of Christ you should not only believe in Him but also suffer for his sake.”
Given our support of missionaries at PHLC, we have all, no doubt, heard stories from missionaries about their work and the conversion of people they were sent to serve. Take, for example, the story of a young woman who converted from Islam to Christianity. She was instructed in Dr. Martin Luther’s Small Catechism and the day after her Baptism she was asked a question, “How are you doing now as you face difficult times as a Christian among many Muslims?” Her response was curt and to the point. She said, “I am preparing for persecution.” Wow! Her response really drives home the Bible text for today, doesn’t it?
Faith in Jesus will always breed contempt from those who do not see Jesus as the only way to salvation. As we share our Christian faith with others so that, through the power of the Holy Spirit, they may also have the gift of faith, some people will love us for telling them about Jesus and his gifts of forgiveness, life and salvation. But others will hate us for sharing the Good News of the Gospel. Faith in Jesus goes against their beliefs, as Paul says, “the message of the cross is it is foolishness to those who are perishing” (1 Corinthians 1:18). So, in their opposition to faith in Christ, we may face harsh actions from their anger. Thankfully, for us, God promises to sustain us during these times and give us strength to endure our mission to tell others of Christ, even if it means suffering. May God grant it, for Jesus’ sake! Amen.
Pastor Bryan E. Drebes
Pastor Drebes attended Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri, beginning in 1997. He spent the summer of 1999 teaching English to Chinese middle school teachers in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China. He served a four-month vicarage at St. John Lutheran Church, Plymouth, Wisconsin, followed by eight months at Bethany Lutheran Church, Overland Park, Kansas. Pastor Drebes was ordained into the Office of the Holy Ministry at Zion Lutheran Church, Palmyra, Missouri on August 19, 2001, and installed as Associate Pastor of Bethany Lutheran Church, Overland Park, Kansas on September 9, 2001. He served Bethany for 14 years. Pastor Drebes accepted a Divine