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 also keep yours. John 15:20
This week this verse became a reality for me. Often times we read about things in Scriptures and because God hasn’t yet ordained them for us to know about the depth of it, we can read past it. Sure, I knew that persecution was sure as the sun; yet I would be lying if I said it didn’t surprise me.
There is something about righteousness that convicts people of their unrighteousness. For some reason, I believed that my personal pursuit of holiness wouldn’t stomp on others’ toes. And, I was yet again wrong. My God granted righteousness rubbed people like sandpaper.
The hardest part of all of this was being an actual follower of Christ through this. And, to follow the direction of Scriptures. I wanted to curse those who cursed me. I wanted to return their unfriendly fires. I wanted to tell my side to all who would listen. I wanted to get revenge! Instead, I blessed and prayed for them(Ro 12:14). I trusted my cause to God, I decided to believe that vengeance is God’s and that He would repay(Deut 32:35).
There something about suffering inside the will of God, that is so assuring and comforting. God was ever present. There is something magnificent about fellowship and worship during struggles. The happiest days could never compete with the joy, love, peace, and comfort that I experienced during the difficult days. There is something amazing about suffering for Christ’s name, it is beyond joyful and fulfilling. To taste a small bit of what Christ suffered for my sins has been exhilarating in indescribable ways.
I never doubted that this test and trial came from all of the goodness of God. And, yes there were tears. There were moments all I could do was weep. Satan has tried to use this suffering to make me hate, resent and curse. While I gave the hurt and anger of persecution to God, Satan would dredge it right back up. I constantly had to pray for those who persecuted me, to keep me centered. But, God is good. And, He gives us exactly what we need to get through it.
So, friends if you haven’t yet suffered for Christ’s name, I pray that you wouldn’t fear it. God will be with you the whole way. And, to those who understand this post on a deeper level- isn’t God good? Didn’t He blow your mind? Wasn’t it amazing not to follow the flesh but the Spirit?
Comforting Verses for the Saints:
Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:2-4
We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. 2 Corinthians 4:8-10
Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all. Psalms 34:19
Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. 1 Peter 4:12-14