Christians will face persecution in this world, but God will help us overcome it!
Today’s believers are in no way different from early day Christians that were severely persecuted by their opponents.
Early believers survived their trial moments; they also had effective evangelism.
Many new souls were added to the faith on a daily basis when early Christians were severely persecuted.
A young lawyer called Saul spearheaded the persecution of early Christians.
He was obsessed with his Judaism (religion) and persecuted Christianity.
He persecuted Christians from door to door, and from town to town.
Eventually, Saul met with the Lord and became saved.
(Saul converted to Christianity and changed his name to Paul).
Jesus Christ saved Paul and turned him to his fisherman – an evangelist! (Acts 9).
The conversion of Paul from Judaism to Christianity infuriated the Pharisees who considered him as their effective agent.
They attempted to kill Paul, however, God protected him.
God exposed the anti-gospel individuals that wanted to kill Saul as the scripture reported,
“… So he (Saul) was with them at Jerusalem, coming in and going out. And he spoke boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus and disputed against the Hellenists, but they attempted to kill him. When the brethren found out, they brought him down to Caesarea and sent him out to Tarsus” (Acts 9:28-30).
Important Lessons on Persecution of Saints
1. Persecution of saints is inevitable
People who have professed their faith in Jesus Christ will suffer persecution in this world, but Jesus will help us prevail.
The persecution of saints would come in different forms, and make believers experience pain.
However, believers ought to maintain focus and serve God effectively.
2. Resolute faith will help Christians overcome persecutions
Christians must maintain confidence in God and hold on to our profession of faith in Jesus Christ.
“For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me” (1 cor 15:9-10).
Christians must be courageous to find motivation in our persecutions.
As we endure in faith, we must allow the Holy Spirit of God to rule us.
We must let God’s light shine through us to make Satan ashamed.
God will utilize our irresistible faith to conquer Satan.
That is, believers should proclaim the faithfulness of God while we are being persecuted.
The evil wall of the enemy will crack and ultimately collapse as we affirm the faithfulness of God.
Satan cannot withstand God’s light; he will cave in and yield to God’s light to shine as we maintain irresistible faith in God.
3. Christians to preach gospel while under persecution
“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us. We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed; Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body. For we which live are alway delivered unto death for Jesus’ sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh. So then death worketh in us, but life in you” (2 Corinthians 4:7-12 KJV).
A Christian who suffers persecution should endeavor to live a pious lifestyle like Apostle Paul.
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Romans 8:35-39).
Despite repeated persecutions that Paul suffered from his opponents during his time, he was determined to remain an active Christian.
He traveled far and wide to preach the gospel.
Paul traveled beyond the border of his country and visited various remote countries to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ.
He reached out to many gentile nations and led many unbelievers to Christ.
Perhaps the greatest achievement of Apostle Paul is that he wrote many inspiring letters to early Christian churches that were sparsely located around the globe.
Paul’s letter edified early Christians worldwide!
Those letters of Paul eventually became part of the manuscripts that were canonized into the bible.
Today, Christians throughout the world continue to find motivation and inspiration from the letters that Paul wrote to early Christian churches!
Christians to Pray for Power to Endure Persecution
Christians to pray for God’s strength to endure persecution; we need to ask God for strength to turn our adversity into a motivating factor to preach an effective gospel of Jesus Christ.
Dear Jesus Christ, I appreciate your word that states, “In this world you will be of much tribulation, but be of good shares, I have overcome the world” (Acts 16:32-33).
Please give me the strength to find motivation in any persecution that I suffer.
Help me to stand firm in faith and preach your gospel under whatever circumstance!
Endow me with strength to maintain stable faith in you always!
Please subdue the power of my enemies, and let your Holy Spirit energize me to remain faithful to you, so that I can reign with you in heaven.
Please God help me! For the in the name of Jesus Christ I pray. Amen.
King Rehoboam succeeded his father Solomon as a king of Israel, but he quickly followed wrong counsels and lost credibility with his citizens.
Therefore, he lost more than 70% of his kingdom to someone who had no royal blood.
The scripture reported,
“…And Jeroboam and all Israel came and spoke to Rehoboam, saying, ‘Your father made our yoke heavy; now therefore, lighten the burdensome service of your father and his heavy yoke which he put on us, and we will serve you.’” (2 Chronicles 10:3-4). “So Jeroboam and all the people came to Rehoboam on the third day, as the king had directed, saying, ‘Come back to me the third day.’
Then the king answered them roughly. King Rehoboam rejected the advice of the elders, and he spoke to them according to the advice of the young men, saying, ‘My father made your yoke heavy, but I will add to it; my father chastised you with whips, but I will chastise you with scourges!’”(12-14).
“Now when all Israel saw that the king did not listen to them, the people answered the king, saying: ‘What share have we in David? We have no inheritance in the son of Jesse. Every man to your tents, O Israel! Now see to your own house, O David!’ So all Israel departed to their tents” (2 Chronicles 10:16)
Lesson on Association
Wrong association corrupts good people; children of God must avoid relationship that may affect their standing with God.
Ungodly people may care less about meeting God’s expectations; they may also care less about any eternal consequence that is attached with a sinful act.
Ungodly people may pursue human feelings and selfish desires. Meanwhile, we (God’s children) are obligated to put God first in whatever we do.
Immoral conduct affected the early church and God’s miracle stopped happening. The people deviated from the worship of the living God and substituted it for conduct that God disapproved.
Bible detests immoral conducts: Apostle James reproved the early church as stated,
“Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures” (James 4:1-3).
Lesson Against Immoral Conduct
A Christian must live a principled lifestyle to enjoy God’s benefits. Christians must prioritize holiness and yield to the leadership of the Holy Spirit so that we can prosper.
Christians are required to desist from immoral conduct that violates God’s requirement of holiness.
Immoral conducts are detestable to God, believers must endeavor to avoid it to fully satisfy God!
A believer who intends to enjoy God’s blessing must serve God in Spirit. He must not be a hypocrite who offers fake services with the secret intention of receiving God’s benefits.
Anyone who lives in sin must repent and live a pure life. God cannot be deceived, he will only reward those who refused to succumb to the works of the flesh but serve him in Spirit and in truth (John 4:24).
I also pray that you please help the brethren to operate in love and submit to the leadership of your Holy Spirit so that your name can be glorified. Please keep the church pure to remain fit for the second coming of your Son Jesus Christ. For in the name of Jesus Christ I have made my requests. Amen.
“Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates a brother or sister is still in the darkness” (1 John 2:9 NIV).
Paul admonished Christians to live and operate in love that symbolizes God’s required Agape Love.
“Finally, brethren, farewell. Become complete. Be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.
Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the saints greet you.
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit bewith you all. Amen” (2 Corinthians 13:11-14).
Christians need to be watchful of Factors that Derail True Love
It is important that children of God take caution not to fail on the subject of true love.
Christians must ensure that the expression of our love is without reservation.
Christians must allow the Holy Spirit to motivate and rule our love activities
Christians must avoid selfishness when exercising love
Christian must avoid partiality when exercising love
Christian must allow God to be at the center of our activities, and let him take due glory.
Advantages of True Love
Some advantages are bound to come with an expression of true love.
Love and unity will help the Christian community stay strong.
The Christian body will experience growth with true love affirmation.
The Christian community will experience God’s demonstrative power like bible time.
More people will be added to God’s kingdom. Unbelievers will sense the presence of genuine love and be gravitated to it.
Those who persecute Christianity will be challenged to drop batons and be converted to the faith.
Beyond the success of gospel evangelization that comes with True Love, the practice will also open a pathway of prosperity for believers.
That is, people who demonstrate true love are bound to prosper in this life, and the one to come!
So much joy awaits believers that demonstrate true love to glorify God!
Pray for God’s Empowerment to Demonstrate True Love
Dear God, I am determined to live in true love!
I want to represent you well on earth with the required true love so that I can qualify for your kingdom.
Please empower me through your Holy Spirit to live in true love!
I also pray for all believers throughout the world to receive your grace and power needed to sincerely love, as you required.
Please help my brothers and sisters in Christ to stay together and love each other dearly.
Help Christians to share and practice common love that meets your expectations.
Let believers throughout the world lay aside selfishness and segregation.
Help the church to promote activities that will solidify our relationship with you so that we can prosper!
Please let your Holy Spirit bind brethren together so that we can remain fit to inherit your eternal kingdom.
For in the name of Jesus Christ I have prayed. Amen!
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Children of God must have confidence in God and know that he is with them at all times. Apostle Paul declared, “If God be for us who can be against us?” Romans 8:31
History has repeatedly made it clear that God is ever faithful to deliver those who trust in him. He defended his children during bible time, and he is still doing the same today!
God of the universe that Christians serve is faithful to help us triumph during challenges.
Christians are God’s children; we occupy a special place in his heart, and he will benefit us with his limitless provision and protection.
It is important that we (believers) trust God when we are at the point of need. Why? God is an Omnipotent one – His strength has no limit!
During bible time, Jehovah performed all kinds of miracle to protect and provide for his children. God’s supernatural power raised the death; parted the sea, and rained manna from heaven. God also rained stones to defend his children in the past!
A special example of how God delivered his children from trouble can be found in the 2 Chronicle 20. God’s children were oppressed and surrounded by enemies that outnumbered them.
The enemies intended to loath the land of Judah and kill God’s people. However, Jehovah turned the table against the enemies.
King Jehoshaphat of Judah called on God for his defense. He cried out to God in prayer and trusted him for help.
The king prayed,
“O our God, will you not judge them? For we have no power against this great multitude that is coming against us; nor do we know what to do, but our eyes are upon You” (2 Chronicles 20:12).
God responded to Jehoshaphat’s prayer with a promise to deliver his land from the oppressors. Jehoshaphat trusted God and made a decision to start praising God immediately.
King Jehoshaphat demonstrated his confidence in God!
As King Jehoshaphat trusted God for his promise, he organized people to praise God. His action impressed God who immediately insinuated confusion in the camp of his enemies. The enemies began to kill each other until no one remain standing. Bible reported,
“Now when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were defeated. For the people of Ammon and Moab stood up against the inhabitants of Mount Seir to utterly kill and destroy them. And when they had made an end of the inhabitants of Seir, they helped to destroy one another” (2 Chronicles 20:22-23).
God’s Strength Is Ever Active Till Date
The living God that Christians serve has undiminished strength. God can go to any extent to care for his people. Jehovah who is an Omniscient one will help whoever reserves his complete trust in him!
A person’s attitude towards God will dictate the amount of breakthrough he will receive from him. That is, the more a person trusts God, the more his blessing would be. Therefore anyone who intends to receive full benefit should question himself (or herself) whether he deeply trust God or not.
Do you genuinely and deeply trust God during your difficult moment?
To enjoy God’s defense and provisions, your heart must fully rest on God! You must have confidence that he won’t disappoint you when you need his assistance.
Dear God, I am grateful that you are alive and ever active to defend your children from their troubles! I know you care and you will solve my problems.
Please increase my faith so that I can have confidence and trust you! As I trust you, let my trial turn to a testimony, and let me celebrate my victory to the glory of your name. For in the name of Jesus Christ I have prayed. Amen.