Heroes Shine in Adversity

In Treasures in Dark Places by Leave a Comment

Apart from adversity there would be no heroes, for heroes are those who triumph through exceptionally difficult or challenging circumstances. Therefore every trial is a chance to prove one’s self a hero, every adversity an opportunity to shine.

Most of us would rather have life deal us placid seas with obscurity than turbulence and suffering with the heroes badge. Problem is, the things we treasure in life – freedom, justice, peace and prosperity – are not to be had without those who forded the turbulent seas and paid the high price to obtain it.


Likewise the advance of God’s Kingdom rests upon those stalwart souls who willingly face adversity for a cause greater than their comforts. Of such hero stock are our key leaders in India.

Yesterday I said bye to one of them as he proceeded on his way to New York and from there back to India, where he daily faces interrogations and opposition simply for being the leader of a Christian charity. Today as I gave Treasures in Dark Places its near-final edit and shipped the not-yet-bound galley back to the publisher, I reminisced over the intensely God-ordained circumstances by which we met back in 1998, and thanked God for the privilege of serving alongside a true hero of the Faith.

His mind-boggling story is too sensitive to write in a blog, so here’s a few nuggets that I’ve observed in people who qualify as modern heroes of the Faith:


  • One whose love for God incites radical, sold-out action that defies the ordinary.

    True love is not capable of complacency and obedience often requires a daring step out of tradition’s safe boat.
    “Someone will say, ‘You have faith, and I have works.’ Show me your faith without your works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” Jas. 2:18

  • One who does the right thing and keeps on doing it despite opposition, betrayal and discouragement.

    “Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute. Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy. Prov. 31:8, 9
    “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you…for righteousness’ sake…” Mt. 5: 10-12

  • One who knows how to be at once a royal general and a royal servant, stewarding both in humility.

    Whether unjustly condemned to death or enthroned in prestige, the hero is unchanged because self has died with Christ.
    “I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound… I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Php. 4:11-13
    “I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Gal. 2:20

  • One who values brotherly love above being right.

    Heroes in God’s Kingdom honor all expressions of Christian faith. Instead of attacking those who interpret the Bible a little differently, they celebrate the core Gospel message in which we all agree.
    “By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:35
    “I have become all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. Now this I do for the gospel’s sake…” 1 Cor. 9:22, 23

  • One who though imperfect, is quick to repent and to change though surrounding culture forbids it.

    Treasuring righteousness over social image.
    “For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. But he who does the truth comes to the light, that his deeds may be clearly seen, that they have been done in God.” John 3:20, 21

Of course there are many more heroic characteristics that could be mentioned. Let me hear your suggestions or share examples of modern-day heroes!

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