About a year after I decided to get off the proverbial fence and truly surrender all of my heart, my plans, my will, my entire life to Christ Jesus I began experiencing persecution in my life and ministry. I had never really experienced persecution for my faith, until I decided to live a more consecrated life and start walking in my calling. The Holy Spirit reminded me and led me to Matthew 5:10-12,
10 God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
11 “God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. 12 Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way.
After reading this I was prompted to write in the margin of my bible, “Be encouraged Lisa, it’s just the beginning.”
It’s the beginning of a new year and He has brought me right back to this subjection of persecution by bringing me to 2 Timothy 3:12 which says,
“Yes, and everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution”.
Definition of persecution - The act or practice of persecuting on the basis of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or beliefs that differ from those of the persecutor.
Definition of persecute - 1. To oppress, harass, or maltreat, esp. because of race, religion, etc.
2. To bother persistently
It has become quite clear to me that when we decide to go against the flow of the world and take a stand for Truth and live by the Word of God we are going to face opposition. Persecution is going to play an integral part in any devoted Christian’s life. The enemy is angry at us because he knows that a godly Christian’s life is a threat to his deceptive demonic activity. A godly life is a testimony of God’s grace, mercy, and power working through us as a witness to others. So he has to come against us. He will use hard hearted, unrepented people in our lives who feel convicted by our witness. We will be talked about and lied on. People will call us names, mistreat us and look for ways to discredit us, but we must not lose heart. We must stay focused and keep doing what we know is right. We must not become angry or bitter, but willingly forgive and pray for our persecutors. (Matthew 5:44, Romans 12:14)
Persecution may tempt us to second guess what we know that the Holy Spirit has taught us, but we must not be discouraged. We must take courage, be confident, certain and undaunted in what our Lord has taught us and walk in it. We cannot live to please people and God. As Christ’s servants living to please God must be our goal. (1 Peter 3:14, Galatians 1:10)
As we go through this New Year determined to fulfill the vision that the Lord has given us we will face persecution, but let us remember that we are more than conquerors in Christ Jesus. We have strength for all things in Christ who empowers us. We are ready for anything and equal to anything through Him who infuses inner strength into us. He has already overcome the world for us and deprived it of its power to conquer us. So let us boldly walk in Christ and work towards the vision that the Holy Spirit has put on our hearts without fear of persecution. (Philippians 4:13, John 16:33,)
Enclosing I leave you with Isaiah 54:17,
“But in that coming day no weapon formed against you will succeed. You will silence every voice raised up to accuse you. These benefits are enjoyed by the servants of the Lord; their vindication will come from Me. I. the Lord, have spoken!”