Jesus Christ was persecuted, He was humiliated and nailed to a Roman cross, He died upon that cross to save you and me and the very ones who committed their lives to say crucify Him, crucify Him to death. Jesus had no sins, but He was persecuted to die the death of a sinner. Without Jesus death on the cross, people would not have salvation, He is the only one who could forgive sins. Everyone who believes has eternal life because of Jesus death on the cross, He said Himself “I am the way and the truth and the life”. (John 14:6). We know the way because of Jesus, we know the truth because of Jesus and we have life because of Jesus. There is no doubt that persecution is a reality in the Chrisitan life. Christian persecution is to be expected. “Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:12). Jesus suffered like believers suffer while they are here on earth because He is The Son Man, He was made to feel our human suffering because he needed to carry the sins of mankind upon Him to the cross. “Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows, Yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But he was pierced for our transgression; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon Him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds, we are healed”. (Isaiah 53:4-5). Jesus said if they persecuted him, the ones who follow Him will also be persecuted. Jesus made it clear that those of the world will hate Christians because the world hates Christ. If we who are Christians were like the world, the world would accept us. If Christians agree with the ways of the world like – vain, earthly, sensual and given to pleasure, wealth and ambitions – the world would not oppose us, because the spirits of the world would not have the battle to fight. But Christians do not belong to the world, they are God’s people and they belong to God, and that is why the world engage in the persecution of Christians. The world loves it’s own but it is unfamiliar with the calling of God upon the lives of people. Christians must learn to recognize the value of persecution and even how to rejoice in it. Thanks be to God and the New Church Movement that is dated all the way back to the apostles teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ, we are not persecuted like the apostles were and the New Church Movement saints were. I know this may be hard for you to comprehend, it is hard for me to write, but Christians, when they are persecuted, should be quietly and humbly because persecution has great spiritual lessons.
- When a Christian faces persecution it allows them to share a unique fellowship with the Lord. Paul outlined a number of things he had surrendered for the cause of Christ, and such losses he viewed as rubbish or dung. (Philippians 3:8), so he might share in the suffering of Christ. (Philippians 3:10). Paul accounted for his worldly lost as his chain of grace that God had bestowed upon him by faith, and now Paul was to defend the gospel in the righteousness of Christ. (Philippians 1:7).
- Christians persecution is good for believers. James argues that trials test the Christian’s faith, develops endurance in his life, and helps develop maturity. (James 1:2-4). As steel is in the hands of a builder, so does trials and persecution serve to strengthen the character of the believer. If a Christian holds his peace and yield graciously to the trial, or situation of persecution the adversary is bringing against them he will be demonstrating great faith that will produce Christ-likeness of kindness and blessing in the face of evil opposition. “Jewels of Nuggets” I can say that I have been in positions where it called me to demonstrate great faith”. The Apostle Peter says of Jesus, “When they hurled their insults at Him, He did not retaliate; when He suffered, He made no threats, but Jesus entrusted Himself to Him who judges justly” (1 Peter 2:23).
- Christian persecution enables believers to be a better friend and support their neighbors with kindness and encouragement. There is nothing like conflict to bring believer together in love, to support and encourage one another. Hardship can stimulate the Lord’s people to a great resolve to love and comfort one another and lift one another up in prayer at the throne of grace. Conflict should always bring the church family together in brotherly love, and not pull and divide the flock. “Jewels of Nuggets” Even thought conflict in the church and among believers in the church, most of the time will divide, separate, tare down the congregation, hurt people and even cause people to separate from the church, that is the working of the adversary to destroy the good works of the church and the people of God.” In times of conflicts in the church, we should press forward in the Holy Word of God. Conflicts are best handled when individuals prayerfully and humbly submit to one another lovely with the mind of restoring relationships.
So in the face of Christian persecution, we can press on. We can thank God for His grace and mercy, and patience with us. We can express gratitude for those whom we love in the Lord and who stand with us in times of distress. And we can pray for those who would accuse, misuse, or abuse us. (Matthew 5:44) “But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;”.
Well, another Jewels of Nuggets for the Soul. Praise The Lord!