Good News & Warnings!
“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
“…yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles. Matthew 13:21
“Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.” 2 Timothy 3:12
Living the life of Christ as a believer and a disciple comes with great and precious promises, the Holy Spirit living in us, the Father and Son in us, eternal life, healing, prosperity, wealth and riches, health and wholeness mentally, physically, emotionally, relationally and materially; the full knowledge of God, wisdom and understanding in all things, the mind of Christ, and the peace of God that passes all understanding, the length, depth, breadth and height of the Love of God, the fullness of God, the joy of the Lord, life and that more abundantly and that’s only the beginning. In the ages to come God will reveal more and more of Himself to us for all eternity.
Living the life of Christ also comes with an alert, a warning to be aware that tribulation and persecution will come to try to dissuade you, to discourage you and to steal the Word and hope that you have in the Lord. That you may know before it happens what to do when it does and how to respond to it without losing your faith or your confidence in Christ.
“For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end…” Hebrews 3:14
“Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward.” Hebrews 10:35
Not everyone who has heard the Word will receive it with gladness and not everyone who receives it nourishes it in good soil.
“But when the sun was up they were scorched, and because they had no root they withered away. And some fell among thorns, and the thorns sprang up and choked them. But others fell on good ground and yielded a crop: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.” Matthew 13:6-8
Those who stumble because of persecution are not rooted and grounded in the Word and the knowledge of God. But those who are rooted in the Word weather the storms and tests of life and stay on course to reach their intended goal.
The seed, that is, the preaching, teaching and witness of Jesus that fell on stony ground (the ears not willing to hear the truth and hearts not willing to believe it) withered in the heat of the sun (persecution) and dried up from the root.
But those planted firmly in good soil (ears willing to hear and hearts willing to believe) flourished despite the heat and the sun. They drew water from deep within the soil (the Word of God and the Holy Spirit) and therefore brought forth fruit of life and good things, some thirty, some sixty, and some a hundred fold.
The soul that is grounded in Jesus is a soul firmly established and will not be easily shaken, indeed will not be utterly shaken at all. Momentarily we can all be buffeted from time to time and be thrown off our game for a while but quickly the greater One in us rises up to remind us of who we are and Whose we are in Christ Jesus our Lord.
So we gladly and joyfully endure persecutions because they produce the fruit of patience in us and tribulation produces perseverance, which ultimately leads to an unswerving hope that will not be disappointed. We are assured then that what we hope for in the Lord we will receive despite any persecution or tribulations. They cannot overcome the love of God for us. [Romans 8:35-37}
“He will not be afraid of evil tidings; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the LORD.” Psalm 112:7
“Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10
And this is our assurance. God has sworn an oath that He will not break, [Hebrews 6:16-20] because He cannot lie. [Titus 1:2] and His nature is love. He loves us and therefore gives only His best to us.