Christian suffering is a reality! This is because every one 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 a 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 in 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
You need to rejoice because when Christ’s glory is revealed you will also rejoice with triumph. Like the apostles rejoice that you are counted worthy to suffer for the name of Christ – Acts 5:41
6. Consider it as a blessing
It is really a blessing suffering as a Christian, for the Spirit of Glory and of God rests on you – 1 Peter 4:14. When Stephen was persecuted, his persecutors could not resist the wisdom and the Spirit by which he spoke. Also, when they brought him before the council, they saw his face as the face of an angel because of the glory of God that came upon him – Acts 6:10, 15.
7. Don’t be ashamed
If you are ashamed, Jesus said He will be ashamed of you also before His father and His angels – Luke 9:26. You shouldn’t be ashamed when you suffer persecution because of the gospel of Christ, for as Paul said in Romans 1:16, it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes.
8. Glorify God
This is an act of your faith in God. Also, it is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you that you give thanks in everything – 1 Thessalonians 5:18. It invites God into your situation.
9. Commit your soul to God
Trust God with your life and the handling of your affairs. Trust and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind. And do not rely on your own understanding. Totally surrender to God’s leadership – Proverbs 3:5-6
10. Continue to do right
No matter how fierce the persecution may be, continue to do the right thing. Don’t grow weary suffering as a Christian, for in due time and at the appointed season you will reap your blessings if you don’t relax your courage and then faint – Galatians 6:9.
Christian suffering is a must for every Christian believer. And for you to successfully stand strong when you suffer persecution so as to defeat the enemy, the above points are mandatory. Remember, God has promised to deliver you from all persecutions, and never to leave you nor forsake. So ensure that the above points are in place so that the enemy will have nothing to accuse you of, thereby hindering God’s intervention.
What else can you do when suffering as a Christian?
Jesus is Lord!
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