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Why Every Christian Should Be Thankful For Persecution


Why Every Christian Should Be Thankful For Persecution


 


Dealing with King Saul – Ray Comfort


 


If you are "living godly in Christ Jesus" you are going to be persecuted. As an evangelistic Christian, you will have enemies, but always keep in mind that the Bible says that our enemies are spiritual (see Ephesians 6:12). We don't wrestle against flesh and blood but against a very real demonic world. Satan hates you and has a rotten plan for your life, and you will have times when you are hounded by the enemy, as David was hounded by King Saul.


 


Like David, you may find yourself fleeing from your own family and hiding out in some cave--you will feel like life is cold, hard and without comfort. The enemy wants to make you bitter at those who persecute you, but don't go there. Be like David when it came to his attitude to king Saul. Never harbor resentment against anybody, not matter how they treat you. The enemy doesn't get victory through the trials that come your way. He gets victory if you get bitter through them.


 


Therefore pray for those who persecute you, and keep in mind that attacks will almost always come from where you least expect it. Friendly-fire is just as destructive enemy-fire. It hurts a little more when you've been shot in the back by those who you thought were on your side. When I'm persecuted for Christ, I pray for the persecutor and I often send him or her a gift basket. If it's something horrible and I feel like crumbling, I instead go somewhere private and I leap for joy. That's what Jesus said to do (see Luke 6:22-24), and so I do it. I physically leap for joy. Try it. It will probably make you laugh. It shows that despite being in a lion's den, you trust God.


 


God on the throne


 


God began the conversation with Job by asking, "Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge?" (Job 38:2). The New Living Translation translates that as "Who is this that questions my wisdom with such ignorant words?" And truly ignorant we are and what delusions of grandeur we have, when we stand over Almighty God in moral judgment.

The amazing thing is that God didn't address any of Job's questions about why He allowed him to suffer so horribly. He asked him another seventy, none of which he could answer, and Job's reaction was to say, "Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer you? I will lay my hand upon my mouth" (Job 40:4). Then he added, "I have heard of you by the hearing of the ear: but now my eye sees you. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes" (Job 42:4-5).

When we take a sinner through the Ten Commandments, he is given a "Job" experience. Before this happens, he is deceived into thinking that he is morally virtuous, and so thinks nothing of standing in judgment over his Creator, particularly when he sees suffering. The accusing sinner's inference in asking "Why does God allow suffering?" is that He is morally obligated to humanity, and His inaction in the face of suffering is reprehensible. The sinner sees God as the criminal, puts Him in the dock, and judges Him as guilty. Case closed.

But the moral Law opens the case again, and it gives him his own personal encounter with God. It shows him that he is the vile one, and so he lays his hand upon his sinful mouth and says with Job, "I have heard of you by the hearing of the ear: but now my eye sees you. Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes." The reason the Law was given was "to stop every mouth, and leave the whole world guilty before God" (Romans 3:19). The accusing self-righteous sinner suddenly sees that he has a multitude of sins and that God is perfect and holy. It gives him moral perspective. The Law puts the sinner in the dock and God on the throne. But more importantly, when it comes to evangelism, it prepares the sinner's heart for the mercy of the cross.


Peter: Impetuous



I identify with Peter. Without too much thought, I'm quick to try and walk on water, and sometimes my shallow thinking gets me into hot water. That's why I surround myself with godly people. I bounce ideas off those I respect because there's wisdom in the multitude of counselors. What may seem like a great idea is sometimes seen to be a disaster, when someone else gives another perspective.

If you have to make an important decision, make sure that you get godly counsel. You want to be sure that Jesus is with you so that if you begin to sink, you can take hold of His hand. I have to also say that I love Peter's thoughtless faith. It makes no sense to step onto water, but he did. He is the only person (besides Jesus) in the entire human race to have the amazing experience of walking on water. I don't know what the consensus would have been from the other 11 disciples if he had asked for a show of hands as to who thought it would be a good idea to step out of the boat. In this case he didn't need to hear from the disciples, because he had heard from Jesus.

There is one area that you can be sure that you have heard from Jesus. He has told you to step out into the waters of evangelism (see Mark 16:15), and He promises to be with you as you reach out to the lost (see Matthew 28:19-20). Don't listen to your fears. Step out today and do something out of the natural realm, before you change your mind and do nothing.