Back in October, James Forlines came and spoke in our Missions Conference. We went out for coffee on Saturday night and he was talking to me about his family. He mentioned that one of his children and their spouse had made an interesting decision. They had moved to Memphis and, instead of moving to the suburbs where they would feel safe and everything would be familiar, they moved to the inner city. It wasn’t a financial decision, it was a strategic one. They said that, if they were going to reach people for Christ, they needed to go where the needs were. They entered into the suffering of inner city Memphis in order to have an impact for Christ.
For too long the church has sat in its fancy buildings with its chic programs and wondered why it has so little impact. The power comes when we enter the fellowship of His sufferings. That’s why we respect our trouble. It’s because of the fellowship it promises. But notice as well that we should respect our trouble because of: