Some people are just too good to be true. I think we all might know one person who could have that said about them. And perhaps we’re just a little green with envy when we speak those words about that certain someone. Perhaps we would love to hear that phrase used to describe ourselves. But has it ever been said that you’re just too good to be true? And are you? Is anyone?
What exactly does that phrase even mean? Exactly what type of person is too good to be true? After all. We’re human. None of us. Not one of us is perfect. So how is it even possible for those five words to describe any of us? It’s not. And we know it. But we like to pretend.
Some people think they’re too good for others. They think they’re a notch above the crowd and can’t be bothered with the little people. They’re better than anyone else they meet. In their minds. And they’re not afraid to let others know it. Oh. They may not say those words. But their actions say it all. We all know at least one.
Some people believe the walk with God will bring health and wealth. If you’re not healthy and wealthy, then your faith isn’t strong enough. That’s what they say. But others know that the walk with God will more than likely lead to hardship and persecution. Which walk sounds easier? Which one sounds a life you would choose?
Everyone who has walked this earth has come face to face with evil. Sure. There are plenty of people who do evil and aren’t bothered by it. But there are some who recognize it and work to avoid it at all costs. Still others work to remove it. At all costs. Even to the cost of their lives or livelihoods. Their faith has sustained them in even the most trying of times. They have battled elements one could only imagine and some elements unimaginable.
How much more do I need to say? It would take too long to recount the stories of the faith of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and all the prophets. By faith these people overthrew kingdoms, ruled with justice, and received what God had promised them. They shut the mouths of lions, quenched the flames of fire, and escaped death by the edge of the sword. Their weakness was turned to strength. They became strong in battle and put whole armies to flight. Women received their loved ones back again from death. But others were tortured, refusing to turn from God in order to be set free. They placed their hope in a better life after the resurrection. Some were jeered at, and their backs were cut open with whips. Others were chained in prisons. Some died by stoning, some were sawed in half, and others were killed with the sword. Some went about wearing skins of sheep and goats, destitute and oppressed and mistreated. They were too good for this world, wandering over deserts and mountains, hiding in caves and holes in the ground. All these people earned a good reputation because of their faith, yet none of them received all that God had promised. For God had something better in mind for us, so that they would not reach perfection without us.
Endure suffering along with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. Soldiers don’t get tied up in the affairs of civilian life, for then they cannot please the officer who enlisted them. And athletes cannot win the prize unless they follow the rules. And hardworking farmers should be the first to enjoy the fruit of their labor. Think about what I am saying. The Lord will help you understand all these things. 2 Timothy 2:3-7
There are those who didn’t abandon their faith when the world turned against them. When their world was turned upside down. When they faced life threatening circumstances, they stood strong in their faith. In the midst of turmoil and threats, their faith did not waver. They forged ahead with the work laid before them. They did not turn back or recant their faith. They faced the persecution head on and with their heads held high. When they were mistreated, they continued on. They refused to turn from God in order to lessen their persecution. The world was not worthy of them.
Some may think it’s awfully arrogant to say that there are those who are too good for this world. But when you take a look at what they’ve endured in the name of Jesus Christ, what does this world have to offer them? What peace and contentment can this world give to those who have only eternity in mind?
God has something far better in mind for those who suffer for him. And there are those in the midst of persecution and suffering who keep their eye on the prize. Regardless of their perspective on life, their faith stands strong.
There are many names mentioned in the Bible who stood strong in the face of persecution. Their faith could move mountains. Today, there are many who are facing insurmountable pressure to cave to the ways of the secular culture. There are those who have not turned their back on their faith even when it has cost them their livelihood. In the midst of the most horrific situations, young girls have stood their ground and not recanted their faith. Even when their future was bleak.
Jack Phillips has withstood multiple attempts to demolish his bakery business because of his stance on biblical issues. Barronelle Stutzman has fought the good fight when others of a different persuasion and belief have come against her business. Lorie Smith is also fighting for her business because of her biblical stand for freedom of speech. As a missionary to Turkey, Andrew Brunson was imprisoned for two years on false charges. Even young Christian girls in Nigeria stood strong in their faith when held captive for three years by a terrorist group.
Christians are under attack today in an attempt to stifle religious freedom and freedom of speech. We must stand together and hold fast to our biblical values. Satan will not stop fighting us. So we must not stop fighting him. Will we be counted among the faithful when our moment comes? Will we be noted on the list of those too good for this world? Oh. We may not feel worthy of heaven. Or of God’s forgiveness and love, but thankfully it’s not our feelings that matter. In the long run, it’s the running of the race that counts. Will we be found faithful?