How should a Christian respond to persecution?

How should a Christian respond to persecution?.

I think that this is a good article to read for anyone who is experiencing persecution in their lives. Just so we all understand persecution, let’s define it.

Persecution – act of persecuting.

Persecute – to subject to cruel treatment, esp. because of religion or race.

What is cruel treatment? Could be anything. I take it to mean any antagonism against our faith. It is a part of being a Christian in this dark world. It is going to happen if we lead the lives we are called to. I love how the author of James says this about persecution, or trials –

2Consider it wholly joyful, my brethren, whenever you are enveloped in or encounter trials of any sort or fall into various temptations.

3Be assured and understand that the trial and proving of your faith bring out endurance and steadfastness and patience.

4But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking in nothing. (James 1:2-4)

He does not say “if” we run into trials, but “whenever”, which tells me that it is pretty much a given that we will run into trials, tribulations, persecutions.

I have most definitely run across trials in my life, and it can be difficult at times to not react out of anger. Especially with things like this “the more religious you are, the less intelligent you are likely to be”; “you have mentally regressed”; “you are irrational and arrogant in believing the Bible”. Utter ridiculousness. But! We should take it in stride. I do my best with it. I sincerely do. The problem is that I should be relying on God’s help when these trials come, and not myself. Forgiveness is key.

Update 4/27/12: another way to respond to persecution is to bless the persecutor with the love of Christ, God. Works every time.

Paul in Arabia

But when God, who set me apart from my mother’s womb and called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, my immediate response was not to consult any human being. I did not go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was, but I went into Arabia. Later I returned to Damascus. Then after three years, I went up to Jerusalem to get acquainted with Cephas and stayed with him fifteen days. (Galatians 1:15-18)

Paul’s first response when he was saved was not to seek the counsel of men…so he goes to Arabia? I am thinking he was there for three years, if not that then an indeterminate amount of time.

He didn’t seek the counsel of men in Arabia…so why did he go there? Was it a period of training for him? I can only assume so (I don’t know of any references to it elsewhere in scripture). So, who trained him? The Holy Spirit? Was it like when Jesus went into the desert for forty days and nights?

What do you think Paul did in Arabia?

Are we a servant of Christ?

Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ. (Galatians 1:10)

During my reading, I came across this verse and it struck me. I was reading, and I just had to pause and look at it again. I knew this truth, and I feel I was living it, but this verse stuck out to me from all the rest. So, I am going to write about it. I hope you will join me.

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The Object of Our Attention (and the true hell)

What is the object of our attention? Should it be to get into heaven? Or should it be to love God with our whole hearts, minds, and bodies? The unfortunate thing is that some people are teaching that the object of our life is to get into heaven. It is to do good, and love others, and do good works, so that we can get into heaven and not go into hell, a purported place of eternal punishment, they say. Let’s look at this in light of the Bible.
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