It is a commendable practice joyfully to accept tribulations and to be patient with them at all times, mindful of the folk in heaven.
- The Rule of Carthage (Irish, 7th century)
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and the sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us...
- Hebrews 12.1
Celtic Christians nurtured a strong sense of the unseen realm. When they thought of heaven, and all their forebears in the faith who had preceded them there, they did not look up, but around. They understood that they lived in the midst of the heavenly folk and the court of Christ, not beneath it.
Many of those who await us in heaven suffered horribly for their faith. Celtic Christians - like all the early believers - held their martyrs in very high esteem. They knew that, without them, the faith of Christ might not ever have come down to them - or to us.
So when they were led to endure trial or suffering, they strove to do so with joy, so as not to disappoint the heavenly folk or to betray their faith. Paul, James, and Peter all exhort us to bear our trials with joy and strength, growing through them to become more like Jesus as a result.
We live in the midst of all the saints who have departed to glory. It is our privilege to enjoy community with them as much as with our living brethren - even though in a different way and by different means.
Today you will rub shoulders with giants - Irenaeus, Athanasius, Patrick, Carthage, Hildegard, Calvin, and many more. Rejoice in their victory. Follow in their footsteps. Make them proud by the joyful and resolute manner in which you bear up under trials without suffering.
And see beyond their nods of approval that radiant face, full of glory, the face of Him Who is, by these very trials, transforming you increasingly into His own image.
Today in ReVision: That's What I Want - It's all money and stuff these days.
This Week's Download: Soul Friends - Learn to be a soul friend, and find one to share your life with.
Join us tonight at 9 Eastern to pray for revival. Write me and I'll ask Carl to send you the materials and instructions you need to be able to join us.