A blog devoted to God and helping fellow Christians keep positive in Faith and in Christ.
In light of recent events, I’ve decided an appropriate subject to write about is persecution.
You may face some difficulties because of your faith. Maybe you can’t watch a movie you want to because it is inappropriate. Maybe you get funny looks for listening to worship music in the dorm lobby. Maybe your parents aren’t completely supportive of your faith-based decisions.
Yes, these are uncomfortable and sometimes very hard things to face. They are inconveniences in our lives. But think about this: Jesus was NAILED to a CROSS and SUFFOCATED to DEATH because He was the Savior. Wow. We DO NOT KNOW the meaning of persecution. John the Baptist was beheaded. All of the apostles were imprisoned, exiled, murdered. All because of faith.
So, when the going gets tough, where will you draw your strength from? Will you give in, and hide your faith like a lamp under a bowl? Because it WILL get tough. You WILL, WITHOUT A DOUBT face persecution because of your faith. Maybe not to the extreme. But that’s all the more reason not to give up.
“You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death. All men will hate you because of me. But, not a hair of your head will perish. By standing firm you will gain life.” —Luke 21:16-19
This doesn’t mean that you won’t suffer because of your faith. Harm may come to you. You may, by some chance, even be murdered because you believe in God and Jesus Christ as your Savior. But you will gain life. You will gain SPIRITUAL life, and an everlasting life with our Heavenly Father.
So, yes. You will be made fun of. They will call you names. They will slander your reputation. They will put you down, and attack you while you’re at your lowest. But do not be disheartened. God is looking out for you. And the will of God will never lead you where the grace of God cannot keep you.
Look at your life. Look at the love you give to others. Think about who those people are. Are they your family members? Your friends? Your significant other, or someone you like? Are they people in your class who seem nice? Are they people you see on the street who are kind or in need?
If your answer is yes to all of these, you are on the right path. But Jesus wants us to do something more radical:
“But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. […] If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even ‘sinners’ love those who love them.” —Luke 6:27-28, 32
Love your ENEMIES. Wow. How powerful. Love those who seek to destroy you. Love those who put slander on your name, and those who gossip about you. Love those who give you disdainful glances. Love the ones who look down on you, who would love nothing more than to see you suffer, who HATE you. LOVE them.
And I don’t mean “love” them and then talk about them when they’re not listening. I don’t mean “love” them, but seek revenge because thats fair. You must give 100% love to these people that are not your friends, are not your family, and may even be a flat-out adversary to your spirituality! LOVE THEM. Because through your love, they will see God’s glory and His power and ultimately HIS love. Because through your love, you will strengthen your own spirituality and ability to reflect God. Because this is what Jesus wants from us as Christians. Because faith is not just about believing, but about obedience. And because, all in all, HE LOVED US FIRST.
Because you encounter someone who doesn’t know God loves them?
Do you ever become overwhelmed by the knowledge that someone hates God with all their heart, and they have no idea how much He lays down for them?
I don’t know if I’m just being oversensitive, or if this is a blessing or a curse. But I experience this feeling very often.
A lot of people don’t take witnessing seriously. They think that because they don’t see immediate results when they talk to others about God, that it’s okay to just not do it. (I am guilty of feeling this way sometimes, too). But we can’t EVER know how our words and our influence works in someone else’s heart.
Tonight, I heard a friend that talks the talk but doesn’t walk the walk say, “I was going to say something about God to her, but she hates God. Besides, someone else will do it. They’ve got her back.”
I don’t know about you, but this makes me sick to my stomach. We can’t seriously believe that someone else’s view of God is going to or should prevent us from witnessing the truth to them. That’s the whole point of witnessing! If we only witnessed to people who were already saved, we wouldn’t get anywhere! And it’s absolutely ridiculous to think that if we don’t do it, that someone else will take the initiative to do it instead.
We should reflect God’s glory in EVERYTHING we do! Even if it’s just in small talk with a friend or neighbor. Give thanks to God in EVERYTHING!!! Don’t take it for granted that you can witness to others freely. This is a blessing that we don’t take advantage of, and we should.