Count it a blessing when you suffer for being a Christian. This shows that God's glorious Spirit is with you. But you deserve to suffer if you are a murderer, a thief, a crook, or a busybody. Don't be ashamed to suffer for being a Christian. Praise God that you belong to him. God has already begun judging his own people. And if his judgment begins with us, imagine how terrible it will be for those who refuse to obey his message. The Scriptures say,
“If good people barely escape,
what will happen to sinners
and to others
who don't respect God?”
If you suffer for obeying God, you must have complete faith in your faithful Creator and keep on doing right.
1 Peter 4:14-19
The electronic feedback I get from the websites that carry this blog tell me that almost every day there are a number of people from a half a dozen countries who read what I have written. It is indeed possible and perhaps even likely that at least one reader of this blog is being persecuted simply for believing in Jesus. If that person is you then listen up!
When you count your blessings today don't forget to include in that list the suffering you are going through as a Christian. The pain itself should remind you that "God's glorious Spirit" is with you! Don't even ask yourself what you could do to make the enemies of God stop persecuting you. There is only one answer to that question and it is not an option. The only way to make them happy so that they will stop the persecution is to deny the Lord Jesus.
Jesus said that we must love our enemies. This is the amazing key to overcoming those who hate you. When I return love for hate and my life is resting safely in the arms of Jesus then I can be at peace no matter what happens otherwise. In fact, when Jesus forgave the ones who drove the nails in His hands He gave me a clear example of how I should feel toward those who persecute me. The men who put Jesus on the Cross served God's eternal purpose. Those who persecute me do the same!
Without persecution I would not be able to walk fully in the steps of Jesus! As painful as it is, what a blessing!
"Lord Jesus, I can only touch the hem of Your garment when it comes to understanding how to be like You! Even as I am suffering today for my faith in You may I come to see the Glory, and the Joy, of this Amazing Blessing! Praise be to You forever. Amen."