A person got here to his pastor and mentioned, “Pastor, would you please pray that God will give me endurance?”
Two weeks later, he returned and mentioned, “Good grief, Pastor! Horrible issues are occurring to me. My life’s coming unglued.”
“Effectively,” replied the pastor, “you wished endurance. The Bible says, ‘Tribulation works endurance,’ so I prayed for tribulation. God have to be answering my prayer.”
Though persecution is inflicted by enemies of God, He can use it to mildew us into better Christlikeness. As Paul advised us, “We additionally glory in tribulations, understanding that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope” (Rom. 5:3–4). Opposite to what we regularly hear, the decision to comply with Christ shouldn’t be a name to a simple life.
As John Ortberg put it, “God isn’t at work producing the circumstances I would like. God is at work in unhealthy circumstances to provide the me he desires.”
Struggling Provokes Braveness
Braveness displays Christ’s character in adversarial circumstances. It’s the essential advantage that Christians should deploy when dealing with cultural calls for that battle with biblical educating.
The apostles Peter and John confronted such a requirement when the Jewish leaders hauled them into court docket and advised them to stop preaching Christ. Peter and John replied, “Whether or not it’s proper within the sight of God to take heed to you greater than to God, you choose. For we can’t however converse the issues which we’ve got seen and heard” (Acts 4:19–20).
After Paul’s conversion, his life turned a sterling instance of this sort of braveness. As he wrote to the Philippians, “I eagerly anticipate and hope that I’ll by no means be ashamed, however can have adequate braveness in order that now as all the time Christ will likely be exalted in my physique, whether or not by life or by dying. For to me, to dwell is Christ and to die is achieve” (Phil. 1:20–21).
Struggling Proves Godliness
A. W. Tozer wrote, “To be proper with God has typically meant to be in bother with males.” As Paul put it, “All who want to dwell godly in Christ Jesus will undergo persecution” (2 Tim. 3:12). It’s a matter of straightforward logic: Why would the enemies of Christianity hassle anybody who shouldn’t be displaying the character of Christ?
The author of Hebrews mentioned, “Whom the Lord loves He chastens” (Heb. 12:6). D. Martyn Lloyd-Jones wrote, “In case you are struggling as a Christian, and since you’re a Christian, it is without doubt one of the surest proofs you may ever have of the very fact that you’re a little one of God.”
Struggling Produces Pleasure
Once we notice the aim and optimistic outcomes of struggling persecution, it may well grow to be a supply of pleasure, because it was for Paul and Silas once they encountered opposition. In Acts 16:22–24, they had been arrested, overwhelmed, and thrown into jail. Then we learn, “At midnight Paul and Silas had been praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners had been listening to them” (v. 25).
These disciples, overwhelmed and imprisoned with out a trial, had been so joyful they burst into music! This tells us that the supply of pleasure is our relationship with God, and that relationship is affirmed after we courageously endure persecution.
Struggling Gives Rewards
The Scriptures abound with guarantees of rewards for individuals who endure struggling. Usually we permit these future rewards to be obscured by fast gratifications. Moses might simply have allowed the fast to obscure the distant. Raised as a prince in Egypt’s royal palace, he had entry to riches, pleasure, standing, and energy. However the Bible tells us, “By religion Moses . . . refused to be known as the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, selecting relatively to undergo affliction with the folks of God than to benefit from the passing pleasures of sin, esteeming the reproach of Christ better riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he appeared to the reward” (Heb. 11:24–26).
Moses was prepared not solely to show his again on fast pleasure, place, and energy but in addition to undergo affliction so as to obtain the promised everlasting reward.
What are among the rewards promised to those that endure persecution?
■ They are going to be avenged (Rev. 6:9–11; 16:5–7; 18:20; 19:2).
■ They are going to be given excellent and ample lives freed from sorrow (7:14–17).
■ They are going to discover everlasting relaxation (14:13).
■ They are going to obtain the crown of everlasting life (James 1:12).
■ They are going to haven’t any extra dying to concern (1 Cor. 15:54; Rev. 20:14).
These are only a few of the rewards that await those that undergo persecution for Christ’s sake. Paul wrote, “I contemplate that the sufferings of this current time aren’t worthy to be in contrast with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Rom. 8:18).
That is an adaptation from Dr. Jeremiah’s newest e-book, “The E book of Indicators.”
Dr. David Jeremiah is among the many finest recognized Christian leaders on this planet. He serves as senior pastor of Shadow Mountain Neighborhood Church in El Cajon, California and is the founder and host of Turning Level. Turning Level‘s 30-minute radio program is heard on greater than 2,200 radio stations every day. A New York Occasions bestselling writer and Gold Medallion winner, he has written greater than fifty books.