Christian suffering is a reality! This is because everyone who desires to live godly in Christ will suffer persecution. But the good news is that God will deliver you from them all. However, persecution is neither palatable nor desirable no matter how short or long the period of suffering may be. Therefore this post tells you what to do when suffering as a Christian.
Persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra—what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me. Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution – 2 Timothy 3:11-12 (NKJV, emphasis mine)
‘…For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we may boldly say: “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?”’ Hebrews 13:5-6 (NKJV)
God has assured Christians, who decide to live for Him, of His support and comfort when they suffer persecution. He has promised not to fail you in any way, give you up, nor in any degree leave you helpless. God is faithful. But while believing God and waiting on Him for your deliverance and restoration, there is need for you to stand strong – Ephesians 6:13
Now, what to do to stand strong when suffering as a Christian – Ephesians 6:10-18, 1 Peter 4:12-19
1. Be strong in the Lord
You are to be strong in the Lord and not in yourself. You need to be empowered through your union with Him; abide in His word – John 15:7. Always remember that you can do nothing on your own.
2. Be strong in the power of His might
You need to draw strength from the unlimited power of the Lord. You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you (Philippians 4:13): including when you suffer persecution.
3. Put on the whole armour of God
Christian suffering is an impossible situation without the whole armour of God. This is because you are actually not wrestling with human beings (flesh and blood) but with all manner of forces of darkness. If you must successfully stand up against the strategies and the deceits of the devil, you must be fully equipped with God’s armour – Ephesians 6:14-18
4. Don’t think it strange
It has been given to you as a Christian not only to believe on Christ but also to suffer for His sake – Philippians 1:29. The truth remains that the apostles and all believing Christians before you went through persecution, and Christians after you who desire to live godly will surely suffer persecution. There is nothing new under the sun – Ecclesiastes 1:9 (more…)
Hi, Jesus loves you.
Does it pay to be a Christian? What kind of life should a person expect having identified with Jesus? When people consider the Christian suffering, they shudder; but the truth is that Christians suffer for two basic reasons. This post explains these two reasons why Christians suffer.
Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also – John 15:20 (NKJV)
Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution – 2 Timothy 3:12 (NKJV)
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does- James 1:22, 25 (NKJV, emphasis mine)
It really pays to be a Christian, a follower of Christ. But following God has a price attached to it, which when you really consider is very minute compared to the glory that awaits you. The blessings of being a Christian are enormous and they cover your life on earth and life after death, i.e., eternal life in heaven. However, the list of blessings will be for another time.
Let’s consider why Christians suffer. The two basic reasons are: first, for being a Christian and secondly, for being disobedient to God and His words
A. Suffering as a Christian
Jesus made it clear that His followers will suffer persecution because He too suffered persecution – John 15:20. And Paul writing to Timothy in 2 Timothy 3:12, expanded it a little more by saying that all who desire to live godly in Christ will suffer persecution. That means, any Christian who is not suffering persecution is not living godly!
Christian suffering means that you have truly identified with Jesus. The scriptures in 2 Timothy 2:12 (KJV) makes us to understand that if we suffer with Him we will reign with Him but if we deny Him, He will also deny us.
Why Persecution, you may ask? The world is in darkness and desires to remain so (Isaiah 60:2, 2 Timothy 4:3-4). Therefore any form of light is prohibited. They will fight anything or anybody that tries to say or show that they in the wrong. The enemy has blinded them that they may not see the light and be saved – John 12:40. So, he will fight anything or anybody that tries to remove the blindfold.
B. Suffering for disobedience
Many Christians suffer all manner of afflictions like sickness and disease, poverty, failure, depression and frustration, etc. This is not suffering as a Christian. This second basic reason is not God’s plan for a Christian, follower of Christ. His plan is for you to enjoy the blessings of dwelling in Him and Him in you – 1 John 4:13 (more…)
What do you think are the greatest commandments? When Jesus came He pointed out the two greatest commands of God and towards the end of His mission on earth He gave a new commandment to His disciples. The summary of these three commands give the summary of the new covenant. This post explains more about these important commands of Jesus.
Jesus said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22:37-40 (NKJV)
I give you a new commandment: that you should love one another. Just as I have loved you, so you too should love one another – John 13:34 (AMP)
Many people emphasize on the importance of the Ten Commandments, and they should, but the truth is that following the three greatest commandments of Jesus fully takes care of the Ten Commandments.
In the Old Testament if you break one commandment you have broken all (James 2:10), but in the New Testament when you obey the three commands of Jesus, you will automatically obey all the Ten Commandments of God. Now, what are these three commandments?
The Greatest commandments of Jesus
1. Love God with all your being
Jesus said that this is the first and great commandment. You are to love God with all your heart, soul and mind. This means that God is to be number one on your priority list, every other thing should come after God. And to love God is to obey all His commandments: including the Ten Commandments. God is to dictate your thoughts, words and actions. In summary, breathe God!
2. Love your neighbor as yourself
Again, Jesus called this the second commandment. And James called it the royal law, (James 2:8). You are to love your neighbor as you love yourself. What you won’t have done to you, don’t do to anybody. (more…)
A daily sincere assessment of your love walk puts you daily on a higher level of righteous, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost. And the best way to do so is by comparing it with the description of love as stated in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, which I call the love balance. This balance gives you the true picture of where you stand in your walk of love. This post tells you how to assess your love walk.
Examine and test and evaluate your own selves to see whether you are holding to your faith and showing the proper fruits of it… – 2 Corinthians 13:5 (AMP)
Therefore let anyone who thinks he stands [who feels sure that he has a steadfast mind and is standing firm], take heed lest he fall [into sin] – 1 Corinthians 10:12 (AMP)
If you have made the love of God your quest, then there is need for you to evaluate how you are doing daily, lest you fall. A daily assessment with love balance will appraise your performance for the day, correct and give you instruction on how to do better next time, 2 Timothy 3:16.
The love balance – 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.
The above scripture defines the love of God and so can be used to determine the level of your love walk with God. When you use it as your standard you will not miss it, instead you will grow from glory to glory, 2 Corinthians 3:18.
How to use the love balance to assess and build your walk of love daily
1. Read and meditate on it in the morning
The word of God is likened to medicine (Proverbs 4:20-22) and so when you take it, it goes in to attack anything that ought not to be within you and restore you to your healthy state, whether spiritual, physical or otherwise.
When you read and meditate on 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, your spirit is empowered to fight any emotion or thought that will try to hinder you from walking in love. The Holy Spirit will remind you of the scripture when the opportunity to walk in love comes. You will be faced with the challenge to practice the scripture or ignore it. If you obey it, then you will find it easier to obey it next time, taking you to a higher walk with God. (more…)
What is the love of God all about? How will you know if you are actually walking in the love of the Lord? The expression of God’s love in you defines your level of Christianity, but you can only express what you understand. This post is to help you with your understanding of the meaning of the love of God.
Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away – 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (NKJV)
The word ‘love’ is so commonly used that even some Christians can’t differentiate the love of God from other types of love. God’s love is the Agape love (unconditional love), totally different from human love (Philos or Eros). It is divine and so has its source from God.
Understanding the meaning of Agape love will help you assess your walk of love and ultimately your stand with God. So, what is Love?
Love is God
God is love (1 John 4:8) and so love is God. If you know God, then you will love with the love of God. To know God is to walk in love. The closer your relationship with God, the more you’ll live a life of unconditional love.
When you study the scriptures, you will discover that every action of God is driven by love. For example, God created woman for man out of love. God watched Adam and saw how lonely he was, the animals and birds could not fill the emptiness around and in him. God saw that it was not good for man to be alone (Genesis 2:18) and so He made Eve for Adam.
God crowned His love for man by giving His only son for mankind, (John 3:16). Christ went to the cross because of His love for God the father and mankind. On the cross, God forsook His only son because of His desire to restore to man all that he lost at the fall of man, fully driven by love. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life.
Love is obedience to God
If you have the love of God operating your life, you will obey His words, (John 14:15-30). He who does not love God will not obey His commands. Many people know what God’s word says concerning many issues but the question is “how good are they in keeping them?”
Jesus said, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word…” (John 14:23, NKJV). So, do you love Jesus? Now, surely you and God know the correct answer. (more…)