1 Thessalonians 2:14 says, “14 You too brothers and sisters, became imitators of the churches in Judea, because you suffered the same things from your own countrymen, even as they did from the Jews, 15 who killed our Lord Jesus and the prophets, and have driven us out. . . . 1 Thess 3:2, “We sent Timothy to encourage you in these afflictions; . . . 4 in fact we told you in advance that you (we) would suffer persecution.”
We haven’t had much persecution against Christians here in the good ole U.S.A. in the past 250 years; but in the last few decades, there has been a steady stream of attack from some adherents of other religions. Sometimes they claim responsibility, other times the circumstances speak for themselves. In a few instances in recent years, people, right here in America have been required to recant their Christian beliefs at the point of a gun or be killed. Some have stayed the course, stood fast for Jesus, and gone on to glory.
In all my nearly 70 years, I have never been required to make such a decision. The worst I’ve had is for someone to tell me that I was stupid to believe in Jesus. But I expect that if we’re real Christians we American Christians will “suffer real affliction for Jesus” in the coming days, as Christians the world over are already suffering. Continue reading →
Been stressed lately. My main source of income dried up. Had way too much to do and not enough time to do it all. Not getting enough rest. Not enough exercise. Heck, I don’t even have time to talk to my one kid still at home. He’s too busy too. Long days and short nights. Need a little relief. What can I do?
Well, I can think a little about God. Max (Lucado) says, “When you’re down, think of all God has done.” Oswald (Chambers) says, “We think everything should be turned into useful teaching. In fact, it is to be turned into something better: character.” Charles (Stanley) says, “When you need help, thank God for all He’s done.” Alistair (Begg) says, “All God has done for us should be saved and remembered, to bring honor and glory to Him.” Wow!
And I can pray and tell God I love Him. I really do thank Him for things He’s done for me, both long ago and in the last few days. I’m thinking about how I could use a little relief; a little peace and quiet; a little rest. Continue reading →
“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” James 1:2-4
“We also glory [rejoice] in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Romans 3:4-5 When I was a little kid, my Momma used to say, often, that tribulation builds character.