I’m baaaaaaack…. Yes, I know, it’s been 6wks since blogging. It’s not that I haven’t thought of it. I’ve actually thought of it nearly every day, but I think the copious amounts of notes being taken in my Bible College studies, as well as the copious amounts of info being taken in, effects the clarity of what to blog about.
There is so many topics near and/or dear to me in these last weeks but I’ve decided to focus on the above title as it really does cover many areas of struggle in our lives.
One of my lecturers a few weeks back said “You’ll have people that think the world of you, have total confidence in you as a leader and steadfastly encourage you along the way. Sadly though, you’ll also have people that despise you. Be prepared for the reality that the closer you walk with The Lord, and the deeper you delve into the things of HIM, the longer that second list of people will grow.”
It’s extremely sad, and extremely difficult to accept, but all I can lean on is the absolute knowledge that we can simple SOAK in God’s word at all times. (& yes, I’ve mentioned this several times in my blogs over the last few years). When we are treated badly, spoken badly of, had lies spread of us, experienced deceit and harsh words towards us, we are in very good company.
2 Timothy 3:12 tells us.. Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,
Persecution is one of the last things a Christian would consider a spiritual blessing. Like suffering, no one needs to seek it out. Jesus did not avoid this subject, but spoke boldly that those who choose to live uprightly and stand for God and speak the truth will be persecuted. “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.“(Matthew 5:10-12)
The word persecution literally means to pursue. However, it includes malicious intent. It can vary in severity from just speaking nasty words to inflicting brutal violence. Jesus said to be happy about it because “great is your reward in heaven.” Most of the prophets were treated harshly, because they confronted God’s people with truth and reproved their godless behavior and their hard-hearted unbelief.
David was persecuted by King Saul, among others. The motivation was jealousy and envy. Saul was tormented by an evil spirit. David knew it was a spiritual conflict and refused to “stretch out [his]hand against the Lord’s anointed.” He said in Psalm 69:4: “Those who hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of my head; They are mighty who would destroy me, being my enemies wrongfully.”.
How do we practically deal with this in everyday life though? It’s all well & good to have these and other scriptures on hand to draw on when these situations arise, but in reality, it can be hard. Feelings are real and it hurts when someone you care about believes lies, or is even the one spreading lies about you. It always reminds me of that quote “Let your character be such that no-one would believe lies about you.” I bring this to mind in these situations as, for me personally, I know I have such dear friends who fall into that first category above, have my back, encourage me, push me when needed, call me on things when I slip etc etc.
My biggest ‘take home’ on this issue though is 2 things….. the first is the obvious, lean on Scriptures, memorising them so that they’re easy to pull into your thoughts when needed… and two, ALWAYS try and see people as God sees them, no matter how hard that is, no matter how much the enemy tries to tell you they don’t deserve it. You can usually find this an easy thing to do if you’ve had a falling out with a friend or family member, as you’re bound to have good, even fantastic, memories with these people, so simply draw on THOSE memories and not the negative. That’s what I choose to do everyday. It’s not always easy… there are days that the enemy feeds rubbish into my head and it can get me ‘thinking’ instead of praying, but I just need to remember who has the victory and who is defeated and I’m able to re-boot my thinking.
Another aspect to this is that if you choose to dwell on something someone did or said to you, you’re actually not allowing the possibility that they have changed. I have two people in my life that are very dear to me but have turned away from me. Both of these women have amazeballs qualities, so I CHOOSE to think on that, pile blessings on them on a daily basis, and leave it in God’s hands to ‘do what He does best’. I declare that even if these relationships aren’t restored one day, God will use even that for good.
Isn’t God just awesome !!! Just being able to have that confidence that He loves to so much and wants the absolute best for us.
Ok peeps… Nighty night. It’s to bed for me.