“All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” 2 Timothy 3:12
“Today the people of God are a remarkable people, a pilgrim race, strangers and sojourners in the world, passing on to “a city which has foundations, whose Builder and Maker is God.” If you are a true Believer in Christ, you will be sure to be noticed, questioned, quizzed, criticized, caricatured, misrepresented—never mind all that—it is the lot of all the holy seed, and the citizens of Zion must expect such treatment until the Lord Himself shall come.” — Charles Spurgeon
When we are afflicted for knowing and serving our LORD, great fruitfulness lie ahead. Yes, it’s through these seasons of testings, purging, repentance, chastening, and sufferings, that God causes His good fruit to be borne in us (John 15; 1 Peter 1:7; Rev. 3:19). Our brother Joseph (Gen. 37-50) was greatly persecuted for his relationship with our LORD. This is what he stated concerning those afflictions:
“For God hath caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction.” Genesis 41:52
Of this portion of Scripture in the Genesis masterpiece, Charles Church notes:
“One thing that always hits me about this passage of scripture is how God said to Israel that in the land of Egypt He would make of him a great nation ….. there in that place is misery affliction and degradation. His ways are certainly not our ways.”
Note here in these words of Paul the apostle in the verse below how that present with the “great door” open for ministry were also “MANY adversaries.”
“For a great door and effectual is opened unto me, and there are many adversaries.” 1 Corinthians 16:9
Pastor Brian Craig writes:
“The true Body of Christ are those who are willing to suffer as our Lord suffered. All who live Godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. Willingness to be ridiculed, hated, spat upon, beaten, rejected, and put to death are the things true believers will endure. This has occurred since Old Testament times and into the New Testament. When you side with the Creator of all things you will be hated by this world. The cross is an offense to those who are perishing but to those of us who are being saved it is power of God. Pick up your cross brethren and die to this world and it’s temptations. Praise be to you Lord Jesus Christ!!!!”
ARE YOU hurting? Many of God’s children understand hurt. That is for sure. Be at peace beloved of God, we shall soon be home with our Father (Revelation 21). These times of hurt and suffering (no matter the reason), seem to be the times that the LORD does wondrous things in our hearts. Wow is all I can say! When O when shall we realize that He is a Jealous God and will use all things to bring us… closer to Him!? (Exodus 34:14; Romans 8:28) At the end of my anger for great injustices done and wrong things I have done, He brings me to the place that I can only look up to Him and say “Father, You are my Potter and I am Your clay. Make and mold me. Grant me a heart of flesh and ears to hear Your blessed voice. Though You slay me, yet will I trust in Thee! Into Your hands I commend (submit) my spirit Jesus. Thank You for Your mercy on my life. I love You.”
“God is LOVE.” (1 John 4:7-8) ….YOU WILL be grossly lied about, maligned, mischaracterized, and misrepresented if you follow Christ – “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.” Matthew 5:11 Don’t worry when you are lied about – simply obey Jesus… and “rejoice.” (Matthew 5:10-12)
Your sentence comes forth from God Himself not men (Psalms 17:2). “ALL manner of evil” fabrication may one day be spoken about you, but God will hide you “from the scourge of the tongue” and hide you “in the secret” of His presence.
“Thou shalt be hid from the scourge of the tongue: neither shalt thou be afraid of destruction when it cometh.” Job 5:21
“Thou shalt hide them in the secret of thy presence from the pride of man: thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues.” Psalms 31:20
“Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me his prisoner: but be thou partaker of the afflictions of the gospel according to the power of God;” 2 Timothy 1:8
Some of the very greatest, blessed men who have ever lived were thrown in jail … the prophets, John the Baptist, the apostle Paul, etc. Never be ashamed of the disciples of our day who are persecuted, disdained, falsely accused, and jailed. Such a conclusion is shallow at best.
WHAT TO DO WHEN PEOPLE LIE ABOUT YOU ……. Rejoice! … When this happens to you, rejoice …. Our perfect and precious LORD was often slandered and accused falsely and promised that those who follow Him would also receive this same treatment ….
“Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.” Matthew 5:11
“Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge. 12 There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another?” James 4:11-12
“Judge not, that ye be not judged. 2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. 3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not… the beam that is in thine own eye? 4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? 5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye. 6 Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.” Matt 7:1-6 (KJV)
Our beloved LORD wants to grant His beloved people a sound heart and a sound mind in their sufferings for His name sake.
“For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” 2 Timothy 1:7
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