1 Peter 2 : 19 - 21, For this is commendable, if because of conscience toward God one endures grief, suffering wrongfully. For what credit is it if, when you are beaten for your faults, you take it patiently? But when you do good and suffer, if you take it patiently, this is commendable before God. For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: NKJV
Have you noticed how spiritual warfare against the church has escalated recently? Perhaps you have even witnessed a greater level of warfare in your personal life. If you have faced persecution, then God has given me a word to share with you today.
It’s human nature for believers to look inwardly whenever we are faced with trials. You’ve probably asked yourself, “What have I done wrong that this trial or affliction has come upon my life?” However, after you have performed a close and prayerful examination of your heart and actions, and you’ve discovered that the Holy Spirit hasn’t revealed any faults, what do you do now?
You must take your eyes off of “you” and look unto the Lord. You see; when a believer comes under attack because of spiritual persecution, it’s not about what they have done, or the way they have said something; it is about Whom they represent. In John 15, Jesus tells us that the Jews hated Him without a cause. Further, in the same chapter, He tells us that, as His servants, we are not greater than our Lord. If they have persecuted/hated Him, they will also hate us. However, if they have received His Word, they will receive our Word as well.
Therefore, if you have done an inward evaluation of your life because you’ve come under an attack and have no convictions, then relax. This trial isn’t your battle; it belongs to the Lord. You don’t have to defend yourself to your accusers. God will fight for you! The spirit of persecution has to hide behind an accusation or a lie, so that it won’t be recognizable. Do you remember in John 19 when the Jews brought Jesus before Pilate to be judged and condemned to death? They had to make up false accusations and charges against Him in order for Pilate even to consider their request to hear them.
Nevertheless, when Pilate asked Jesus about the charges, Jesus didn’t speak a word in self-defense. Why? He knew that He was being persecuted and that the battle belonged to the Father. You don’t have to defend yourself when the accusations are false.
Persecution comes for the Word’s sake; it does not come because what you wore or what you said offended someone. Peter tells us in today’s scripture that when we suffer for doing well, then this is commendable before God. Please notice that we suffer as Christians, not for doing wrong, but for doing right. So if you’re obedient to God, and you seek to honor God with your whole heart, and trouble still keeps plaguing your life, then you can know that you’re being persecuted.
Let me leave you with a final word from God’s Word to encourage you to keep the faith and remain obedient even in times of persecution.
Romans 8 : 15 - 17, For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, "Abba, Father." The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs -- heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together. NKJV
Persecuted but Not Forsaken,
Pastor Asa Dockery
Pastor Asa Dockery