The Pharisees and Sadducee surrounded Jesus Christ-like bees seeking every opportunity to bite their host.
The religious enemies set traps and tested Jesus on many grounds with the hope that he might stumble in his speech so that they can arrest and kill Him.
Meanwhile, Jesus was sensitive to recognize the presence of his enemies, and He put them in the right place! When the Pharisees asked a tricky question about the resurrection, Jesus referred them to scripture that everyone in the society respected – and the foes became silent (Luke 20:27-39).
However, Jesus warned his disciples to be watchful of hypocrites who would be envious of their success and seek their downfall. Jesus said,
“Beware of the scribes, who desire to go around in long robes, love greetings in the marketplaces, the best seats in the synagogues, and the best places at feasts, who devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers.
The scripture reported how anti-gospel people persecuted Christianity with the intention of silencing the believers.
However, the persecutors lost their battles and believers won! Every effort that enemies hurled against Christianity ended up helping it.
Persecutions helped believers grew stronger.
An example of persecution experience that turned to success gospel propagation is reported:
“As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering every house, and dragging off men and women, committing them to prison. Therefore those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word.
Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ to them. And the multitudes with one accord heeded the things spoken by Philip, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. For unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, came out of many who were possessed; and many who were paralyzed and lame were healed. And there was great joy in that city” (Acts 8:3-8 NKJV).
Jesus Christ alerted his disciples to prepare for persecutions from anti-gospel people.
They would suffer difficult situations for the sake of his name. However, the Savior promised to help his followers overcome their afflictions, and helped them finish their race well.
The Savior said,
“They will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons. You will be brought before kings and rulers for my name’s sake.” “You will be betrayed even by parents and brothers, relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death. And you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But not a hair of your head shall be lost” (Luke 21:12, 16-18).
All Christians are to endure persecutions and hold firm to their faith so that they can inherit imperishable rewards from God in heaven.
The road to heaven may be rough, but it has a smooth end.
Jesus Christ has promised us (believers) the strength needed to overcome challenges – and finish our race well (Luke 21:12, 16-18).
Any suffering that a Christian suffers on earth would be insignificant to compare with the blessing that he/she will receive from God in heaven.
It is a worthwhile effort to remain steadfast in God since there shall be a countless joy to experience in heaven!
Dear God, please endow me with grace to remain steadfast with you until the end. Let me endure any challenge that may come my way, and let me hold firm unto my faith so that I can be duly rewarded in heaven. Let me be counted worthy of your benefits in heaven. For in the name of Jesus Christ I make my requests. Amen.
Christianity is God’s ordained religion that gives hope and salvation to people.
The religion promotes every good thing that can benefit humanity.
However, the religion also attracts the attention of some enemies.
Satan and his hosts often raise their ugly heads to harass and persecute people who practice Christianity – The Christians.
Christianity can expose its observers to some tough circumstances – Meanwhile the circumstances will ultimately work for believers’ benefits.
Paul shared his personal experience of Christianity and said,
“… Are they Hebrews? So amI. Are they Israelites? So amI. Are they the seed of Abraham? So amI. Are they ministers of Christ?—I speak as a fool—I ammore: in labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently, in deaths often.
From the Jews five times I received forty stripesminus one. Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; injourneys often, inperils of waters, inperils of robbers,
Inperils of my owncountrymen, inperils of the Gentiles, inperils in the city, inperils in the wilderness, inperils in the sea, inperils among false brethren; in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fasting often, in cold and nakedness” (2 Corinthians 11:22-27).
Lesson on Persecution and Trials
Christians will experience trials and temptations on earth, but God will help us overcome them all.
Believers will face persecutions from people that oppose our faith in God.
The enemies will seek for opportunities, and also raise false accusations against the saints.
Believers must not be afraid of our challenging moments because Jesus Christ has promised to help us overcome.
Christ promised victory for his saints as said,
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33).
Christians Are Not The Losers
Satan will try whatever he can in an attempt to break our confidence in God.
His efforts may include an attack on our testimonies; he may instigate people to abuse us, and he may aim at hurting us emotionally.
Meanwhile, our steadfastness in Jesus Christ is very important. Jehovah will not allow our tears to go unaccounted for.
He will reward our endurance, and he will decorate our lives with honor. Steadfast Christians will receive God’s good rewards on earth, and in heaven.
Christ’s affirmative statement of victory must be resounding in every Christian’s mind: Trials, temptations, and persecutions would remain temporal in our lives.