A house church in China was once expelled from the apartment it was renting. The police told their landlord that he would be fined if he didn’t stop renting to the church. Because of this threat, no one else was willing to risk renting to the church.
Rather than disbanding, the church began meeting underneath a highway underpass. The government left the church alone as winter had come, and such open-air meetings would be short-lived. To everyone’s surprise, the services were not shortened, and the church continued to meet throughout the entire winter.
God did not send these brothers and sisters a mild winter. The weather was bitterly cold Sunday after Sunday. Although they were eventually able to find a place to rent, God did not provide them a place to meet until after the winter was over. Rather than sending this church relief, God instead gave them the strength to endure the winter.
Some time later, the same police were preventing a cult group from meeting. The cult leaders complained to the police because they were now leaving the house church alone and “even let them worship in public for a time.” The police reminded the cult leaders of the temperatures that winter and said, “We know their faith is real.”
God does not promise believers a life of comfort. God sometimes allows His people to endure hardship in order to mold them into the image of His Son and to hold them up for the lost world to see. God may bring hard times to show his power in delivering us, but we must always be prepared to be uncomfortably godly.