it is absurd to assert [that]…the sheep in the Shepherd’s care will
never experience lack or need.
What is privation, temptation, mocking? Better to ask, ‘What is persecution?’ Have you faced it before? Have you seen examples? What would you do if you were faced with persecution? Do you believe it is coming or, as a sailor would say, is it in the offing?
Perspective is an interesting thing. As I have mentioned in a previous post, perspective refers to how an individual sees, or experiences, the world as an individual. No two people, by right of the definition, have the same perspective. Yours can be close to someone else’s (and probably is), but no two perspectives, of any event, will be exactly the same.
Why? Because no two people have the exact same experience. Even if two people did have the exact same experience, no matter how impossible that is, they would relate to those identical experiences based on innate characteristics. Meaning, every brain is a snowflake…no two are the same. So, perspective is individual.
But, how does this relate to the topic at hand? Glad you asked (it brings me in from the rabbit trail I’ve been following).
First, will Christians face persecution; second, what is persecution anyway?
I have heard some say that all Christians will face persecution and if you don’t (as a Christian) then you’re doing it wrong. Christ said that we will face persecution (Matthew 23:34; Luke 21:12; John 15:20 and many others) there is no way around it for a follower of Christ. It seems though, that people perceive persecution differently.
We could say that everyone born after prayer was taken out of the schools has been persecuted; that the ridiculous present “separation of church and state” interpretation causes undue persecution. Presently, persecution is all a matter of perspective.
However, there will come a time when persecution of the Church in America is no longer subject to perception; a time when it is so real and so present that no one can deny it. What will you do then?
The question to ask (now, before you are subject to persecution) is ‘What will I do if I am persecuted?’ My questions to you, in answer to that question, is ‘Where do you put your confidence? Is your confidence in the Lord or in yourself?’ If you have confidence in yourself, then I agree you have no idea what you would do. I submit that you will probably hide under the bed (a nod to Judy Clayton). However, if you have confidence in Christ, you can know that you will not be shaken even if faced with the worst kinds of persecution.
Examine yourself. Watch a few Paul Washer videos on YouTube. Are you confused now? Then it may be a heart problem. Search your heart and first make sure that you are His. If, after examination, you find that you are indeed His, HAVE CONFIDENCE!!!
What? Is God not true to His word? Was Christ’s death and resurrection without power? Did the Holy Spirit take up residence just to watch TV with His feet on the coffee table? QUIT BEING WEAK!!!
God’s promises ARE true and constant! Christ brought truth to the world and conquered death and hell! The Holy Spirit is constantly at work perfecting you; making you holy!
Persecution, even if that includes death, PAH! Child’s play! GOD is in control, NOT Satan. He has already defeated the Devil and his armies, what do I have to fear?
Have confidence as you face persecution that you ARE weak, but CHRIST is your strength! You can do all things! NEVER say that you have no idea how you would face persecution if you are born again. Trust in the God who has saved His people from more than you will ever face. Don’t be weak, TRUST, and KNOW!
You WILL face persecution, but if you TRUST, if you have FAITH, you can KNOW how you will react. With total confidence in the One who bore it all for us. Besides, a little pain here and I can spend eternity with Him. BRING. IT. ON!!!