gripping his promise in persecution
Open Your Bible
2 Peter 3:1-7, Psalm 55:19, Matthew 5:10-12
BY Diana Stone
Text: 2 Peter 3:1-7, Psalm 55:19, Matthew 5:10-12
Many of us in our Christian walk will be challenged in our faith by another. It might be a well-intentioned inquiry of why we believe the way we do, or a direct attack on our beliefs spurred by something we’ve done or said.
Christianity is not a placid faith. It does not take the form of a belief that most are willing to let slide or stand up for. It’s uncomfortable. It makes people mad. It stirs up anger. We read many times in the Bible about persecution of Christians who walk with our Lord – yet, we are encouraged to keep walking with our eyes focused on God. Not to lose focus on the “poor me” complex.
“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Matthew 5:10-12 NIV)
My pastor told us the other Sunday in church that he often gets requests from the city to come and open events with a prayer. First comes the praise: “We know you would do such a wonderful job” and “You come so highly recommended.” Then the request turns to apparent fear of the power of our Lord:
“We’d prefer when you pray if you not mention the name Jesus. God is fine.”
He then tells them they have the wrong pastor.
It’s been a long time since the Bible initially made the promise of Jesus’ return. As a people of instant gratification and quick results, we tend to forget that God keeps His promises on His time.
He will come.
We know in the meantime to expect the questions, the mockery, the unbelief of others. We are challenged to stand firm in the face of this. Even when our faith seems on the wild side of reality. Even when the world’s offerings make more sense than what our God says. Even then, we know God is who He says He is, He does what He says He will.
“God, who is enthroned from of old, who does not change, he will hear them and humble them, because they have no fear of God.” (Psalm 55:19 NIV)