Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. 2 Timothy 3:12.
In the experience of the apostle John under persecution, there is a lesson of wonderful strength and comfort for the Christian. God does not prevent the plottings of wicked men, but He causes their devices to work for good to those who in trial and conflict maintain their faith and loyalty....
It is the work of faith to rest in God in the darkest hour, to feel, however sorely tried and tempest-tossed, that our Father is at the helm. The eye of faith alone can look beyond the things of time to estimate aright the worth of the eternal riches.
Jesus does not present to His followers the hope of attaining earthly glory and riches, of living a life free from trial. Instead He calls upon them to follow Him in the path of self-denial and reproach. He who came to redeem the world was opposed by the united forces of evil.... So it will be with all who will live godly in Christ Jesus. Persecution and reproach await all who are imbued with the Spirit of Christ....
In all ages Satan has persecuted the people of God. He has tortured them and put them to death, but in dying they became conquerors. They bore witness to the power of One mightier than Satan. Wicked men may torture and kill the body, but they cannot touch the life that is hid with Christ in God. They can incarcerate men and women in prison walls, but they cannot bind the spirit.
Through trial and persecution the glory—the character—of God is revealed in His chosen ones.... They follow Christ through sore conflicts; they endure self-denial and experience bitter disappointments; but thus they learn the guilt and woe of sin, and they look upon it with abhorrence. Being partakers of Christ’s sufferings, they can look beyond the gloom to the glory, saying, “I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us” (Romans 8:18).36
Up until now you may have considered yourself a fairly humble person. However, this short “Healthy Heart Challenge” is sure to challenge you in new ways, as you seek to go deeper in your walk with Christ. Remember, true revival can’t begin until we recognize how desperately we need Christ to change our hearts. Then as we fall broken at the foot of the Cross, surrendering our pride and self-sufficiency to Him, it is His joy to encircle us in the arms of His love, and make us new creatures that will display His glory!
In a stirring message, Sebastien Braxton challenges young people to step up to the plate and be the generation that will stand for the Lord. It's easy to get lost in the distractions of life, in the spiritual confusion that is taking over the world, but God has called us to rise up and be counted. This is a must-hear message for anyone who loves God's church.
How welcoming is your church? Is it a safe and inviting place for visitors to come? How can you make it even more welcoming for strangers that might walk through the door? In this practical and relevant article from Ministry Magazine, Alan Parker breaks down five keys to help church members be more effective in their welcome and witness.