Feeling the pang of persecution in your life? Feeling the sting of suffering? Is living the Christian life not peaches and cream for you? Know this, Satan still opposes the Gospel and his aim is to persecute God’s people. But take heart, persecution also breeds growth. Suffering produces, it molds, it creates, and it makes something new in you!
Qualities like perseverance, maturity, wisdom, generosity, faith, and resolution become the new person in us when we are persecuted. We cross the line from being lukewarm to becoming confident and focused on one aim – pleasing Jesus Christ and proclaiming His salvation. David speaks of it, Paul shares it, Peter makes it known, and we can join this throng of believers and use our sufferings and trials to make inroads with the good news of our Savior!
Suffering also procures one of the most imperative ingredients we need to be successful at influencing others. Suffering initiates conviction! As Paul says so pointedly to the Thessalonians, “…our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction…You have become imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit…” (1 Thessalonians 1:5-6).
Suffering breeds conviction and conviction propelled by the power of the Holy Spirit makes imitators of the Lord. Therefore, when others drown in despair because of their anguish, we can soar in the joy of the Lord, because regardless of our circumstances and our persecutions, the joy of the Lord becomes our strength and helps us embrace our challenges with power and with hope.
My friends, view the difficulties in life as growing pains and center yourself deeply in the Savior’s bosom, for His embrace is certain and His power is guaranteed!
“Not to us, Lord, not to us but to Your Name be the glory, because of Your love and faithfulness” we can soar! (Psalm 115:1).