Persecution is certainly the last word that comes to mind when I think of a having a good time. It’s no fun to have people falsely accuse you, lie about your character, or degrade your efforts and good intentions. But believe it or not there is JOY in being persecuted for the Lord’s sake! Jesus was loathed and despised, yet He pressed on and completed what He set out to do. He honored the Father with His death on the cross, and saved our lives with His resurrection. This motivates me to continue on for Him! I’m glad to be in Christ and I will rejoice when opposition comes my way!! 🙂
James 1:2-4 (NKJV)
My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
1 Peter 1:6-7 (NKJV)
In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ,
1 Peter 2:20 (AMP)
[After all] what kind of glory [is there in it] if, when you do wrong and are punished for it, you take it patiently? But if you bear patiently with suffering [which results] when you do right and that is undeserved, it is acceptable and pleasing to God.
1 Peter 2:21-24 (NLT)
For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps. He never sinned, nor ever deceived anyone. He did not retaliate when he was insulted, nor threaten revenge when he suffered. He left his case in the hands of God, who always judges fairly. He personally carried our sins in his body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By his wounds you are healed.
Hebrews 12:2-3 (AMP)
Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]. He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God. Just think of Him Who endured from sinners such grievous opposition and bitter hostility against Himself [reckon up and consider it all in comparison with your trials], so that you may not grow weary or exhausted, losing heart and relaxing and fainting in your minds.
Luke 21:17 (AMP)
And you will be hated (despised) by everyone because [you bear] My name and for its sake.
Mark 13:13 (AMP)
And you will be hated and detested by everybody for My name’s sake, but he who patiently perseveres and endures to the end will be saved (made a partaker of the salvation by Christ, and delivered from spiritual death).
Acts 5:41-42 (NLT)
The apostles left the high council rejoicing that God had counted them worthy to suffer disgrace for the name of Jesus. And every day, in the Temple and from house to house, they continued to teach and preach this message: “Jesus is the Messiah.”
Will you praise the Lord in spite of your suffering?
Be encouraged today, and always!!
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