“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me” – (Matthew 28:18).
Are you a Christian who is being persecuted?
Are you facing an obstacle in your life that seems insurmountable?
Are you feeling discouraged?
Are you feel weak and impotent in the face of temptations and trials?
There are times when God’s people need to be reminded, afresh and anew, whose we are and whom we serve. God the Father has placed all things under the feet of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is head over everything, that he may be the head of the church. As our good shepherd, he gives us eternal life and we shall never perish. John 10:28-30 tells us that no one is able to snatch us out of his hand and the Father’s hand. Why should we worry? Nothing in all creation is able to separate us from the love of God. As Paul says in Romans 8:31, “If God is for us, who can be against us?”
Our God reigns over us
His purposes will be accomplished in history through you and me whom He stirs us up, motivates us, reminds us, guides us, and makes us willing. He causes us to love him and strengthens us to do his will. One moment we may be sleeping; another time we may be backslidden. But the next moment we awake and begin to study God’s word and earnestly pray. We rise up to do God’s work in God’s way with the strength God gives.
Life does harden us. It is not always good, but God is still on the throne. He knows all about what is happening and will one day make it all right. We ought never to forget that this world is not our own, it is not the end, and so long as sin is in the world it will never be right. But God is good! He is the great God and great King and great Shepherd and now He is the great God of righteousness who sits on the throne. God is absolutely holy and pure and righteous and just. He is perfect in every way. He is the Light of the world, in Him is no darkness, and today He calls you and me into the glorious light of His presence, the light in which one day you and I will dwell. But for now He offers it to us for our time in this world of darkness, and for that we ought to rejoice
Our God reigns over our Finances
When we do God’s work in God’s way, God for sure provides sufficient resources. The Bible says the bread is for the children, and our heavenly Father will provide our daily bread. He gives us food, clothing, medicine, work, housing, transportation, and everything else that we need. If we delight to give our children good gifts, how much more will our heavenly Father give us all good things, because we are more valuable to him than the birds and the lilies of the field! The Lord is our shepherd; we lack nothing.
Our God reign over our enemies
Every time we rise up to do God’s work, enemies will also rise up-to ridicule, discourage, intimidate, persecute, and, if possible, kill us. And if we do not understand the word of God, we may surrender to them.
Why did Joseph persevere in prison, knowing that he had done no wrong? Why did Daniel continue to pray as at other times, knowing that it might cost him his life? Why did the three Hebrew refuse to bow down to the idols, when faced with the fiery furnace? How could Paul and Silas have rejoiced after being beaten and imprisoned in Philippi?
Persecution is part of the normal Christian life.
Jesus says, “Remember the words I spoke to you: ‘No servant is greater than his master’ – John 15:20. If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also.” In Acts 14:22 Paul tells us, “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God.” In John 16:33 Jesus says, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart, I have overcome the world.” And Paul warns us in 2 Timothy 3:12, “In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” If we are not persecuted, we may not be living godly lives. Instead, we may be compromisers who have already given up trying to live holy lives governed by the word of God. When we live by the word of God, we will be persecuted.
Why do we experience persecution?
Because God’s enemies oppose any revival among his people. They want Jerusalem and the temple to lie in ruins. They hate watching the temple being rebuilt and true worship offered to the living and true God. God’s enemies hate any revival in his church. They love the church when she is backsliding and conforming to the world. They may even offer to help us build the temple, but not in a way based on the word of God. They will help only if we compromise.
Our God will never fail his people. God shall never leave us nor forsake us. He will lead us from success to success and bring us home to himself. “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’” (Jeremiah 29:11). What a glorious future that is! May we reign with our God throughout this year and forever.
I want to leave you with an extract of the lyrics from the song “You reign” by Hillsong United;
What could stand before You
As You chose to embrace
A cross so undeserved You took for me
The weight of sin upon You
When You offered Your life
As You walked the streets of men
With fading strength
How could we live but not see