Friday May 13, 2005
When We Are Persecuted
2 Chronicles 20:1-30
If you are truly living for God, expect to encounter persecution and conflict—spiritual battle is part of the Christian life. It might be tempting to give in to fear, but with the proper perspective, you can meet opposition with courage and grace. Rather than focusing on the people involved (Ephesians 6:12), recognize that reality is far deeper than what you see. Whatever touches your life is allowed by God, and He can use everything as an instrument for your good and His glory. (Romans 8:28) He alone is in control, and He may have something bigger in mind. Don’t expend effort trying to defend yourself or figure everything out; instead, God wants asks you to trust Him wholeheartedly.
Keep your focus on God—if you don't, you will react rather than obey. Isaiah 41:10 says not to fear or anxiously look about; otherwise, Satan will exaggerate details to make you believe things are worse than they actually are. But when your eyes are on Jesus, He will absolutely cover everything with His presence—and His perfect love will drive out all fear (1 John 4:18).
Ephesians 6:10-11 says, “Be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand . . . ” Rather than fighting back the way the world does, stand firm in God’s strength. The battle is His to fight, so it’s useless to try manipulating circumstances. If you’re right where God has called you to stand, you can expect to be victorious, no matter what the outcome is.
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