The Light of Christ Journey

Encouraging people on their journey with Christ

God brings good from persecution, a thread we see throughout the Bible and today. When I was a small boy, my mother’s parents attended a church pastored by a man from Estonia who had served time in a Russian prison because of his faith. Being in prison was a severe hardship, but God used this experience to deepen his faith. God tested him as a young man, and it would forever strengthen his resolve to proclaim the good news of Jesus.

Scripture gives us insight into how God uses trials to benefit us. James 1:Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing. [1] Trials in life are not something we look forward to, but our Lord, the great potter, uses these difficult times to refine and transform us.  

The Lord Used Persecution to Spread the Gospel

The Lord gave these instructions to the disciples before His ascension, Acts 1:But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” [2] Although it was clear the disciples and fellow believers were to go out from Jerusalem to spread the good news of Jesus, they did not go until persecution hit.

In God’s infinite mercy and grace, He would use persecution by the enemy to further the Gospel. Acts 8:3 A great wave of persecution began that day, sweeping over the church in Jerusalem, and all the believers except the apostles were scattered through the regions of Judea and Samaria. [3] Through this persecution, many unbelievers came in contact with believers who left persecution in Jerusalem. The persecuted people took the Gospel with them.

Persecution Makes Us Rely on God

When all is going well in life, we seem to rely on ourselves, but when life is difficult, we learn we must depend on the Lord. When raindrops are falling in our life, we are the most open to listening to God to proclaim His word and to receive it. In times of desperation, people’s hearts are open to the Gospel.

The Lord seems to give persecuted believers extra grace to fulfill their purpose in life. He also rewards us for enduring trials from spreading the good news of Jesus. Luke 6:22 What blessings await you when people hate you and exclude you and mock you and curse you as evil because you follow the Son of Man. 23 When that happens, be happy! Yes, leap for joy! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, their ancestors treated the ancient prophets the same way. [4]

To learn how God brings good out of persecution, listen here:

[1-4] Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation . Tyndale House Publishers.

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