Day 35: Drinking from the “Nasty Cup”

When we were young, my cousins and I had a gross tradition when we dined as a family at a restaurant. After wolfing down our portions, we grew impatient as our parents chatted and savored their meals.

So we made what we called “Nasty Cup.”

The name, while primitive, is about as accurate a description as possible. We would take a glass of water and dump whatever we could find on the table inside of it: salt, pepper, sugar packets, red pepper flakes, hot sauce, soy sauce… if the restaurant offered it, it was fair game. We’d then take turns daring each other to eat this dastardly concoction – which none of us ever did. We were dumb, but we weren’t that dumb.

(I now apologize to the poor servers that had to clean up after us. We were stupid.)

Sometimes as Christians, though, we’re called to drink from the Nasty Cup. As followers of Jesus, we’ll occasionally be served this disgusting cocktail, and we’re called to gulp it down.

  • “In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” – 2 Timothy 3:12
  • “And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.” – Luke 14:27
  • “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you.” – 1 Peter 4:12

Drinking of this cup doesn’t sound like a great time.

But as always, we need to prioritize the long term, not the momentary struggles of this life:

  • “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33
  • “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.” – Matthew 5:10
  • “In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith – of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire – may result in praise, glory, and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.” – 1 Peter 1:6-7

Overcome. Blessed. Praise. Glory. Honor.

All these things can be ours.

Jesus doesn’t beat around the bush: being a Christian is hard. Because you’re a threat to Satan, he’s going to attack you with extra fervor. You might be ridiculed by people you care about. You will likely deal with obstacles you wouldn’t if Satan viewed you as yet another simple peon.

But you have a power behind you more than powerful enough to parry the devil’s attacks. And if you can persevere – drink from the cup – great things await you in Heaven.

The contents of the Nasty Cup might taste horrible in the moment, but their long-term effects are worth the struggle.