In Acts 7, Stephen was stoned to death. By all accounts, he did most of the right things after being chosen by the Apostles to help spread the Word of God in Acts 6. All that good and yet he still died in the next chapter. Would you be okay with God deciding that you die tomorrow?
Discussion on suffering
It’s an interesting thing to ponder. I had a discussion with a friend yesterday who brought up a thought in light of recent tragic weather events whether some people were destined to suffer. I said “oh gosh” and chuckled, because I know I’m going through some challenges right now as you probably are too, and I definitely don’t want that to be my final outcome. But still, we could be doing a lot of the right things, be doing as good as God wants of us barring occasional sin mistakes, and yet it’s entirely possible God has destined us to not live to see some or all of the hopes and desires we have. We don’t know for sure if Stephen had other things in life that he wanted to experience but didn’t, but he was human like us, so it’s possible. It begs the question, can we be at peace if our particular faith journey we’re on is one that ultimately leads to an early death?
It’s a crucial question that kind of tests whether your faith in God matters beyond the point of whatever outcome in life you’re hoping for. I want to be in a better financial position one day. I want my health to be a lot better one day. I want to be married one day. Could I be at peace with all of those things maybe never happening, and all that happens is I go through a challenging but accomplishing life spreading God’s Word and then I die?
I’d say I could. Those of us who are saved are guaranteed at least one good thing to look forward to in the future, and that’s always being with the Lord. With no more pain, no more tears, and a water of life that I imagine will be the most quenching thing I’ve ever tasted. But to close on an optimistic note, Stephen’s journey isn’t everybody’s journey. Jacob got to be with Rachel, lots of rich people in scripture, and Samson for the majority of his life was as strong and healthy as an ox.
A lot of these circumstances and situations could be our life. But ultimately this is all about something bigger than us, and we can be peace and okay with however life turns out for us.
Peace to all those who are in Christ.