Choose Your Hero Wisely
by Ray Harmer
Real heroes are being replaced by make-believe characters today. True heroes are the people keeping us safe as we sleep at night or go about our business daily. When I was young, boys and girls wanted to emulate soldiers, teachers, nurses, cops, good parents or firemen. My how our heroes have changed.
Not many consider a pastor or missionary a hero. They’re the unsung heroes. These callings include arduous hours, anguish of soul and not much recognition. How about Bible characters as heroes? The first to come to mind is our Saviour Jesus Christ. He gave His life for us! “…I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified. He is not here: for he is risen…” (Mat. 28:5-6). A truer hero one cannot have then someone who gave their life in our stead (Jn. 15:13).
Consider the Apostle Paul. Here’s a man who fits the criterion of a hero. Look at his accomplishments for the cause of Christ. How many of us could claim, “… I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches” (2Co. 11:23-28).
As bad as all that was, look at the last sentence. We are told the daily care of the church is sometimes worse than being lost at sea with sharks! If applied to our individual pastors we will be able to see what heroes they truly are. These men (and ofttimes their families) bear the brunt of Satan’s attacks as our leaders. They are often depressed and tired. Many feel as though they have been beaten. It is our duty to them, as their congregants, to lift them up in prayer and encouraging speech. If we do, we will reap the benefits and bolster our pastor. Read carefully- “… And from thence, when the brethren heard of us, they came to meet us as far as Appii forum, and The three taverns: whom when Paul saw, he thanked God, and took courage” (Ac. 28:15). This led to Paul, “Preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him” (Ac. 28:31). ”Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend” (Pr. 27:17).