Obedience is better than sacrifice. In those frail times in my life, where I actually succeeded in obeying Him; I have always been left in wonder. Why?
As you know, it certainly is NOT about our comfort, or our perceived hopeful future, for often these things are very much for our own good.
This was written to the Hebrew Church, which was previously rooted [ for 1500 years] at Jerusalem. A hateful persecution drove them out, with all of their possessions and lands confiscated...as vagabonds.
This was a few years before Titus stepped into Jerusalem, and The siege of Jerusalem of AD 70 was a considerably bloody one.
The siege had lasted for more than four months and many Jerusalemites starved, lest it be forgotten that it was estimated that around half a million Jews lived in the city during the time of the siege.
The scene was described as a hell on earth by Simon Montefiore in his book about Jerusalem (I'm quoting it):
"Thousands of bodies putrefied in the sun. Packs of dogs and jackals feasted on human flesh, the stench was unbearable. (General) Titus ordered all prisoners and defectors to be crucified. Five hundred Jews were crucified each day in the Mount of Olives such that there were barely any trees remaining to use as a crucifix. "
[ estimated 200,000 dead.]
The reality sunk in as Paul encouraged the wandering Jew that God was in control, and he used this persecution for His own rights, and the Gospel was spread around the known world too, through them. They were also alive...which is the only place that hope really can work.
"Partly, whilst ye were made a gazingstock both by reproaches and afflictions; and partly, whilst ye became companions of them that were so used.
For ye had compassion of me in my bonds, and took joyfully the spoiling of your goods, knowing in yourselves that ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance.
Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward."
I know you belong to Him Krisp and believe you did the right thing....providing for your family in doing the necessary thing, and stepping onto the water trusting Jesus alone as the Father and Priest of your home.
I too, am excited for you, and congratulations! on Jesus coming through for you once again!...[ not without a little stretching....as it always is...]