Benefits of persecution – Part 2
The explanation and peace-making effort of Gideon teaches that sometimes, being logical and showing people their fault does not necessarily solve problems.
Like Gideon, exalt the qualities, which the opposing party has and you lack; sincerely appreciate his good qualities and see how to quieten the stormy spirit in the hearts of men, with soft answer.
In making peace, you reconcile others too. When there was conflict between Philemon and Onesimus, Paul the apostle was so committed to ensuring there was peace between them. Likewise, when there is conflict between people, don’t take sides but work towards making peace between them.
Peaceful children of God are abused, belittled, degraded because those in the flesh will always wage war against those in the Spirit. Those who are born after the flesh will always persecute those who are born after the Spirit. The unrighteous will persecute the righteous. It happened like that before and it continues to happen and will continue to happen: “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.”
The children of God are persecuted because they are not part of the sinful system of the world. When you dissociate yourself from the madding crowd of sinners, when you distinguish yourself from the world, they will persecute you.
After all, it is far better to suffer for righteousness than for sin. Therefore, it calls for rejoicing. We are not to fight the persecutors; God, in His economy, knows best how to do that. The Lord has assured us that there will be persecution. Therefore, He does not expect us to be surprised when it comes.
But ensure that you are not suffering for your ignorance or unrighteousness. Yes, there is persecution for peaceful children of God, but you must remain peaceful in the persecution, by being unruffled, unoffended, non-retaliating nor change your pattern of seeking and making peace.
The Prince of peace should still live within you in the midst of the persecution. You should not be influenced by the persecutor’s violent attitude or nature; still maintain your Christian stand in the midst of the persecution. Only then will the persecution profit you.
To profit from persecution, ensure that you stand on the Bible definition of persecution: that it is “for righteousness’ sake” and not that you are suffering from rebuke resulting from your carelessness, foolishness, iniquity or backsliding. If you are disciplined by the church, you are not being persecuted; you are being corrected. But if you are persecuted for righteousness’ sake and you endure it, you will be rewarded. Whatever the persecutors say or do to you, be resilient in the faith, “for our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory”.
Your persecution will not destroy you as it could not destroy the children of Israel. Your persecution will bring promotion across your way.
God will turn every negative thing in your life to your own good. “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.”
Further Reading (King James Version): Matthew 5:9-12; 2 Corinthians 12:9,10; 1 Timothy 4:15,16; Matthew 5:9; Romans 12:17-21; 14:19; Genesis 13:8-12; 1 Samuel 19:1,4-7; Judges 8:1-3; Proverbs 15:1; Philemon 10-20; Matthew 5:10,11; Galatians 4:29; 2 Timothy 3:12,13; John 15:18-21; 17:14; 1 Peter 3:14-17; Psalm 7:10-17; 1 Peter 1:6,7; 4:12-16; Matthew 10:22-31; Philippians 1:27-30; Matthew 5:10-12; 2 Corinthians 4:14-18; Exodus 1:12; Genesis 50:20; 2 Thessalonians 1:3,4; 1 Peter 4:12-14; 5:10; Romans 8:28; 2 Corinthians 12:9,10.
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