When Jesus fed five thousand people He didn’t take away all their life’s woes. He didn’t inoculate them from disease, poverty, or mental illness; nor did He protect them from becoming victims of injustice. Jesus simply wanted them to know that He would always be there, nourishing them for the long haul.
Within a year or two after that event a group of men repeatedly rejoiced in their sufferings; singing when beaten, encouraging others through letters they wrote while in prison, and practicing what we today call “Christian charity.” They had the Lord within them, a burning flame with a life of its own. In spite of all hardship that flame caused their attention to be focused outside themselves. Those men had singular purpose–to let everyone know that God was deeply inserted into each person’s life. Will we believe that way?
The Lord is my light and my salvation;
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is my life’s refuge;
of whom should I be afraid?
Picture my own.