persecuted

10 Things To Do When Suffering As A Christian

Dealing with pain

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By Ngozi Nwoke

Christian suffering is a reality! This is because everyone who desires to live godly in Christ will suffer persecution. But the good news is that God will deliver you from them all. However, persecution is neither palatable nor desirable no matter how short or long the period of suffering may be. Therefore this post tells you what to do when suffering as a Christian.

Persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystrawhat persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me. Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution  2 Timothy 3:11-12 (NKJV, emphasis mine)

‘For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we may boldly say: “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?”‘ Hebrews 13:5-6 (NKJV)

God has assured Christians, who decide to live for Him, of His support and comfort when they suffer persecution. He has promised not to fail you in any way, give you up, nor in any degree leave you helpless. God is faithful. But while believing God and waiting on Him for your deliverance and restoration, there is need for you to stand strong  Ephesians 6:13

Now, what to do to stand strong when suffering as a Christian  Ephesians 6:10-18, 1 Peter 4:12-19

1.       Be strong in the Lord

You are to be strong in the Lord and not in yourself. You need to be empowered through your union with Him; abide in His word  John 15:7. Always remember that you can do nothing on your own.

2.       Be strong in the power of His might

You need to draw strength from the unlimited power of the Lord. You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you (Philippians 4:13): including when you suffer persecution.

3.       Put on the whole armour of God

Christian suffering is an impossible situation without the whole armour of God. This is because you are actually not wrestling with human beings (flesh and blood) but with all manner of forces of darkness. If you must successfully stand up against the strategies and the deceits of the devil, you must be fully equipped with God’s armour  Ephesians 6:14-18

4.       Don’t think it strange

It has been given to you as a Christian not only to believe on Christ but also to suffer for His sake  Philippians 1:29. The truth remains that the apostles and all believing Christians before you went through persecution, and Christians after you who desire to live godly will surely suffer persecution. There is nothing new under the sun  Ecclesiastes 1:9

5.       Rejoice

You need to rejoice because when Christ’s glory is revealed you will also rejoice with triumph. Like the apostles rejoice that you are counted worthy to suffer for the name of Christ  Acts 5:41

6.       Consider it as a blessing

It is a really a blessing suffering as a Christian, for the Spirit of Glory and of God rests on you  1 Peter 4:14. When Stephen was persecuted, his persecutors could not resist the wisdom and the Spirit by which he spoke. Also, when they brought him before the council, they saw his face as the face of an angel because of the glory of God that came upon him  Acts 6:10, 15.

7.       Don’t be ashamed

If you are ashamed, Jesus said He will be ashamed of you also before His father and His angels  Luke 9:26. You shouldn’t be ashamed when you suffer persecution because of the gospel of Christ, for as Paul said in Romans 1:16, it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes.

8.       Glorify God

This is an act of your faith in God. Also, it is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you that you give thanks in everything  1 Thessalonians 5:18. It invites God into your situation.

9.       Commit your soul to God

Trust God with your life and the handling of your affairs. Trust and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind. And do not rely on your own understanding. Totally surrender to God’s leadership  Proverbs 3:5-6

10.   Continue to do right

No matter how fierce the persecution may be, continue to do the right thing. Don’t grow weary suffering as a Christian, for in due time and at the appointed season you will reap your blessings if you don’t relax your courage and then faint  Galatians 6:9.

In conclusion, Christian suffering is a must for every Christian believer. And for you to successfully stand strong when you suffer persecution so as to defeat the enemy, the above points are mandatory. Remember, God has promised to deliver you from all persecutions, and never to leave you nor forsake. So ensure that the above points are in place so that the enemy will have nothing to accuse you of, thereby hindering God’s intervention.

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About the Author:
Ngozi Nwoke Is a teacher and a counselor. A product and distributor of love. She has a passion to teach people how to enjoy God’s love and fellowship for more fulfilling life. Want more fulfilling life? subscribe for free email updates today. http://stepswithgod.com

Article Source: http://www.faithwriters.com <a href=”http://www.faithwriters.com”>CHRISTIAN WRITER</a>

In Chains for Christ – By Pastor Gary Earls

 

@creationswap/MarianTrinidad

@creationswap/MarianTrinidad

Chains, are we talking about some kind of spiritual analogy? Does this mean that at one time we were in bondage to the world, the flesh, and the devil, and now have become the bondservant of Christ Jesus with all that might entail? Sure, but what if we were called to endure physical chains because of our faith?

“What?” you might say, “that doesn’t happen anymore, we live in an enlightened and tolerant age where people respect each other’s beliefs even if they don’t agree with them.” Tolerant, I love that word. This is one of the great new buzz words that are bandied about in our culture like a beleaguered ball in a tennis match. So many well meaning people use the words tolerant, or intolerant for that matter, to set apart or distinguish those who’s attitude or modes of thought don’t seem to fit with the general approach of the current society having to do with what people believe. The Wikipedia Free Online Encyclopedia defines intolerance in a social or political sense as,

…the absence of tolerance for differing viewpoints or the people who express those viewpoints.

The thing I find interesting about the above abbreviated definition is that intolerance is considered a personal affront simply because it is not only the rejection of a person’s views, but it is also a rejection of the person as well. Now I most certainly believe that we are to respect differing opinions, yet what if the opinions are in absolute antithetical relationship to the very values that are the foundation of the Christian faith. Do these opinions then invalidate what we believe? The words tolerance and intolerance seem to me to have some sort of unspoken agenda driving them, albeit many times unbeknownst to the one speaking the words. Could it be that when someone claims that we are intolerant because our faith causes us to hold certain principles which set us apart from the societal norm, that the person that casts the word does not tolerate what we believe? How circular is that? We are deemed intolerant because we don’t believe what someone else believes yet they in turn refuse to believe what we believe. How does this make us intolerant? The logic escapes me.

Now let’s take this a step further. The danger in getting what we believe from the society we live in rather than an eternal truth is that you blink and people are going to think differently yet again. Will they now contend just as vehemently that what they believe is correct even though it may be in positional opposition to what they believed previously?

What if the whole of a society claims a truth to be a truth? Does that then make it truth? What if in ten years the whole of a society believes the opposite? Is the original truth no longer truth and the truth now maintained valid? If this were the case certainly humankind would have destroyed itself by now. The history books are filled with purges and persecutions based on a self-imposed mandate of a society aiming to cleanse itself of those that don’t fit the norm of that social order at the present. We look back on those accounts and say “thank God we’re not like that now” but who says we aren’t. That certainly is a naive view of the nature of humankind.

The point of this whole thing is what if the general societal trend becomes anti-Christian? Would that then make our faith unsubstantiated? What if our faith is seen as a danger to society in general? What steps would society take to deal with our intolerance to purge us from its midst?

You see, we are no danger to them if we don’t preach Christ, we are no danger to them if we don’t evangelize, but what if we do, and the very fact of our practicing our faith becomes an offence. What if our Pastors are accused of hate crimes simply by the fact that they are quoting Bible verses? This is not fantasy, it has happened. Prejudice and persecution against the Christian faith is rampant in many parts of the world. It is the very real experience of those throughout the earth that are now in chains for their faith, in chains for Christ Jesus.

Listen to the Apostle Paul.

Php 1:12-14 12
But I want you to know, brethren, that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel, 13 so that it has become evident to the whole palace guard, and to all the rest, that my chains are in Christ; 14 and most of the brethren in the Lord, having become confident by my chains, are much more bold to speak the word without fear.
NKJV

Those that live in the United States have been insulated from what has become the norm in many other countries. We go to our churches, and we hold our seminars. We follow after one wind of doctrine or another, one teacher or another, one trend or another and yet have no depth. Will the strength to stand be there when we need it if indeed the times come? Will the prosperity gospel, which is not a gospel at all, truly give substance to our faith if a time of persecution comes? How long have we been told that the Lord will retrieve us before the Great Tribulation? Tell that to our brothers and sisters that labor under persecution, torture, and death in North Korean prison camps where the tactics employed equal that of the death camps of World War Two, in severity if not in numbers. But I suppose you could say that if what so many claim is true, that the Nazi death camps didn’t really exist, certainly it must not be happening in North Korea either.

For a substantial time the Christian church of World War Two Germany, either supported Hitler, or simply turned its head. Will we continue to do the same? Thank God for men such as Dietrich Bonhoeffer who chose to take the stand that cost him his life.

The following verse has been contextualized to mean empowerment to fulfill our own desires.

Php 4:13
13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
NKJV

Yet the Apostle wrote the letter to the Philippians while in chains for Christ not really knowing if the outcome of the trial would result in execution or release.

We have an obligation to stand with those in chains or under threat of death, those that are our brothers and sisters, our mothers and fathers in Christ. What of those in North Korea, or Saudi Arabia, Iran, Somalia, Maldives, Yemen, Bhutan, or Viet Nam? How about Afghanistan, China, Eritrea, Uzbekistan, or Sudan? The list can go on. How about the USA?

“Oh” you say, “that could never happen here”. Well neither could 911. Additionally why should we be forced to be tolerant of those that don’t tolerate us? Forgiveness, which the Bible teaches, is not the acceptance of a wrong done but simply the refusal to hold the person that has done the wrong as guilty in our eyes. Why? It is clearly because we have been forgiven of so much more and did not deserve the blood of Christ, which obtained for us the forgiveness of our Father God.

What are we to do when subjugation comes in the subtle guise of tolerance? What if we refuse to bend, will then the pressure become more overt? Must we be forced to accept all that our faith declares is wrong to find a place in the current social scheme? There is an overwhelming undercurrent of prejudice in that mode of thinking.

We live in an increasingly pluralist society where all beliefs are seen to been equally valid but no one belief is ever to be seen as exclusive? Yet if we dare to investigate further we will find that all beliefs claim exclusivity. Certainly Islamic belief claims exclusivity. If the fundamental tenets of a faith are mutually exclusive to other faiths, certainly that faith is exclusive in its essential nature. Why is it then that Christianity is the only faith that is presently maligned in the USA for being intolerant? Why is it then that it is acceptable to shred the Christian faith on a sitcom under the pretense of humor but the writers would never dare to do the same using another belief? Why is it OK to remove a Nativity scene from a Middle School during the Christmas season when the Koran was not deemed offensive? How have we become so skewed in our thinking? It’s not my purpose to denigrate the belief of another but to hold to mine in the midst of a society that condemns me simply because I do.

We must be willing to stand for Christ, we must be willing to be placed in chains for Christ, and ultimately we must be willing to die for Christ. We must also be willing to stand with those that are suffering for Him on a daily basis or our faith is useless. Why? Because a faith that is fundamentally weak and found lacking in commitment is no faith at all.

Believe, stand, and resist, or the ground swell of cultural change will swallow you and the faith that you hold dear. Believe and stand for your children or their legacy will slip from between their fingers and they’ll be consumed.
Stand because Christ is worthy!

Pastor G

Pastor G has been a missionary in the Philippines where he taught in a Bible School training Filipinos for ministry as pastors. He hosts a small church fellowship, and an active internet ministry.
Please copy article in its entirety with author credit & link to the site RisenScepter.org

Article Source: http://www.faithwriters.com <a href=”http://www.faithwriters.com”>CHRISTIAN WRITER</a>