New Testament Scholar N. T. Wright observed that God accomplishes His purposes through pain. He notes:
“Early Christians understood their vocation as Jesus’ followers to include … their own suffering, misunderstanding, and likely death. The suffering of Jesus’ followers is… not just the inevitable accompaniment to the accomplishing of the divine purpose, but actually itself a part of the means by which that purpose is fulfilled.”
I suspect that Paul knew this when writing to the Roman church:
“We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.” (Rom 5:3-4)
The mission of the church (both locally and globally) has never been more critical. The challenges before the church culturally and contextually within Australia are complex and demanding. It seems to me that we must choose adventure before a sedentary lifestyle. To do so intentionally puts us in the path of pain. It is an unavoidable journey with no short cuts. Are you up for it? I hope so, because the days beckon us to proclaim the good news of Jesus.
Dr Andrew Ball
Executive Ministry Director