I can remember several years back when my wife was going through chemo we felt an amazing closeness to the Lord that we had never felt prior to the diagnosis of the illness. During that time, God's hand worked mightily in our lives and we were blessed almost daily through others and through our church.
I was reading through the story of Nicholas Ridley and Hugh Latimer recently and came across a quote that I will probably never forget. Ridley and Latimer were two Bishops during the Protestant Reformation in England who stood by their faith and would not compromise. In 1555 Ridley and Latimer were brought before the panel of Bishops to answer to the charge of heresy. They were told to renounce their errors and conform to the ways of the "church"
Well, to make a long story of martydom short, the two of them stood firm till the end. As they were to be turned over to the secular authority and eventually be burned at the stake, it is recorded that in a conversation between the two, Ridley said to Latimer, "Be of good cheer, brother, for God will either assuage (reduce) the fury of the flame or else strengthen us to bear it." Shortly after this the two went up in flames.
The faith of the average American Christian doesn't hold a candle to the faith of the early church father's. (No pun intended) When the fire is around us, many of us fall away from the faith rather than embrace it. Stepping back into the old patterns of behavior and methods of survival rather than crying out to the Lord to rescue us. We are to be a testimony to the work that the Lord is doing in our lives. When we show the people around us a different way to deal with the pain and suffering we encounter than the way the world deals with it, then we are likely to bring others to faith in Christ as well.
I want to share a post from a good friend of mine. He is the author of the book, "If God Disappears." It is a story of sharing the gospel even in the most difficult of times in our life. I hope you benefit from his post.