As you all know, we are facing some very difficult times in our world and in our country. In our country, atheists and others are trying with every thing in their power to completely, totally remove God from our lives in every way. Then, we read and see pictures and videos of those who claim Christianity being beheaded by ISIS in nations overseas. You hear from many directions, “How long before that begins happening right here in the U.S.A.?
We must understand, suffering for the cause of Christ is nothing new! It has been happening ever since the church was established in Jerusalem on Pentecost some 2000 years ago. Christians being beheaded is nothing new, the apostle Paul was beheaded in Rome because he was a Christian, the apostle James was killed with a sword by Herod and Stephen was stoned to death by Helenistic Jews because his preaching made them mad. Brethren, if we faithfully serve our Lord Jesus Christ, we are going to suffer! Listen to the words of the apostle Paul as he tried his best to warn his brethren of what they were going to face solely because they chose to serve Christ. “For to you it has been granted for Christ's sake, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake,” (Philippians 1:29), “And indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” (2 Timothy 3:12). Paul makes it very plain that if one truly serves Christ, he/she is going to face some difficult times in their lives as a result. But, the good side of this is that God can and will use the bad things that happen to us to help us. Yes, we will still feel the pain, we will still suffer through issues but, God can and will bring good out of it for us. Notice what Peter says in 1 Peter 4:19 where he says, “Therefore, let those also who suffer according to the will of God entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right.” Now, add to this what Paul says in Romans 8:28, “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.” Now notice, He did not say everything was going to BE GOOD, but that all will work together FOR GOOD! As we studied and learned last Wednesday evening in our Bible class on Hebrews, God will use our suffering to strengthen us and draw us closer to Him. He uses these things to help us mature in our Christianity and grow stronger in our ability to resist Satan and all that he throws at us. Brethren, may we all stand firm and strengthen each other in the face of all struggles and trials.
Until next week, I love you all,