The last time on LWEIM I spoke about BROKENNESS. I mentioned going through the pruning process and our goal as Christians shouldn’t be just to go to heaven, but become more like Christ.
Today, we look at living with persecutions and sufferings because we follow Christ.
Persecutions looks like a huge word that sounds so horrible and terrible right? Persecute also means to harass, oppress or annoy someone. It means to pursue in a manner to injure, grieve or afflict.
To suffer means to undergo hardships and pains.
Things won’t be rosy all the time. Paul went through A LOT for the sake of the Gospel. Following Christ does not excuse us from sufferings or persecutions. It’s a fallacy if we preach the gospel and tell people all their problems would end when they come to Christ. In fact, that’s when the “spotlight” shines on them and the devil is on the look out to make sure they don’t grow spiritually or make sure they lose their faith.
Control yourselves and be careful! The devil, your enemy, goes around like a roaring lion looking for someone to eat. Refuse to give in to him, by standing strong in your faith. You know that your Christian family all over the world is having the same kinds of suffering.
1 Peter 5:8-9 NCV
The attack we face wouldn’t just come from man alone but from the devil as well.
You may ask, why would/should we face persecutions, trials and sufferings?
“If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as it loves its own. But I have chosen you out of the world, so you don’t belong to it. That is why the world hates you. Remember what I told you: A servant is not greater than his master. If people did wrong to me, they will do wrong to you, too. And if they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours, too. They will do all this to you on account of me, because they do not know the One who sent me.
John 15:18-21 NCV
Now sufferings and persecutions may not be as huge as losing loved ones like what Job in the bible experienced (Job 1:8, 2:3). It may be being ridiculed at the office because you have godly values that your colleagues can’t comprehend.
It may be facing tough times and being ostracised from family members because you’re the only one saved.
Sometimes we go through certain things to help others who would later go through them. 1 Corinthians 1:4. I believe Joyce Meyer preached about being able to help people because she had experienced such pains and was able to reach out to them.
How do we live amidst these persecutions?
• Remember God loves you. Romans 8:35-37 reminds us that problems, sufferings, troubles and so on, can never separate us from the love of Christ.
• Pray. Talk to God about what you’re going through and receive strength to overcome. We already have the victory because Christ has the victory. (John 16:33)
• Love. Matthew 5 vs 44, tells us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. This could be difficult but though you don’t feel love, you can start with prayers for them . . . For their salvation.
• Keep meditating on scriptures. Keep studying God’s Word.
💛 Bible Quote for the Day: So, you are not loyal to God! You should know that loving the world is the same as hating God. Anyone who wants to be a friend of the world becomes God’s enemy.
James 4:4 NCV