Theses Things I Have Spoken Unto You
“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
Nobody wants to hear about tribulations, and least of all when they’re in the middle of them. But, it is also one of the things Jesus taught as much as His messages on blessings and peace.
It is important for us to know how to deal effectively with tribulations when they come or we will be overwhelmed by them and become faint hearted and ineffectively wearied in the warfare of walking out this life as the Just who live by faith in a world that does not know our Lord.
Jesus came to live as a man on the earth. He went about doing good and healing all who were sick and oppressed of the devil. [Acts 10:38] He came preaching good news to the poor, healing the brokenhearted, proclaiming liberty to the captives, and opening of the prison to those who are bound and proclaiming the acceptable year of the Lord. Then He died for the sins of the world, becoming sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. [Luke 4:18-19]
Yet, there are still those who daily, consistently and deliberately misrepresent Jesus Christ and His Church, the people of God. In recent years, despite the clear and unquestionable evidence to the contrary, Christians have been accused of being radical, aggressive, violent religious fanatics who hate gays and are homophobic. And because they oppose abortion they, therefore, hate women and seek to take away their right to what is now called “reproductive health care.” This is particularly peculiar because half of all Christians are women.
We are accused of being anti-Muslim, and because we pray for and support Israel as a people of God, we hate Arabs. They say Christians hate minorities, that we are all racists, dispassionate of the poor and are seeking to enforce our religious bigotry on the rest of society; that we are the aggressors in the world taking advantage of other people to impose our theocratic system of government on them.
With these false perceptions they have fashioned and agenda that essentially seeks to muzzle the mouths of believers around the world to prevent them from declaring the truth in the midst of the din of their bourgeoning shouts and raging opposition against God and His people. Even some who say they are Christians, are more concerned about their personal acceptance among their friends than living and speaking the gospel, not wanting to offend people by their faith, having chosen to embrace the lie and stand with the false accusers of their brothers and sister in the body of Christ rather than side with Jesus as He is persecuted by those who never knew him.
Saul was a passionate persecutor of the church because he didn’t know Christ.
He not only had believers arrested for their faith in Jesus Christ but he would travel great distances to search them out in order to have them arrested and thrown into prison or killed for believing in and declaring the gospel of Jesus Christ.
But, it wasn’t just the church he was persecuting. It was Jesus Himself.
“And when we all had fallen to the ground, I heard a voice speaking to me and saying in the Hebrew language, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’”Acts 26:14
So, today when we hear the voice of the accuser of the brethren using those who don’t know our Jesus to speak lies and deceptions concerning our Lord and His Church, we shod not be afraid, dismayed or surprised, neither should we be angry with them because of their ignorance.
Consider their contradictions and let your heart and mind turn toward the Lord. [Hebrews 12:3]Pray for them, and love them. Don’t waste your time or your energies getting upset or merely railing against them. That changes nothing, but only adds to the spirit of violence and hate that feeds on such emotions.
Jesus faced His opponents with deliberate uncompromising truth, but He never railed against them or sought their death and destruction. He understood their human frame that they were only dust.
The power of our faith is to oppose violence and wrath with love. But the love I speak of is not a mushy, emotional, syrupy feeling, but rather it is a dynamic God-empowered force of life that cannot be overcome by evil. Perfect love casts out all fear and love never fails.
“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.” 1 John 4:18
“Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.” 1 Corinthians 13:4-8
Many believers have heard these words time and again in sermons, at weddings, in songs and in their own Bible reading and still have not grasped their most fundamental meaning. Love is not a feeling. IT IS A POWEFUL GOD-FORCE!
If we would surrender to the force of love and stand for the truth we know, God will be with us to deliver us from every opposing situation. No power in heaven or in earth is greater than the love of God.
So, when you are tempted to react to the lies, misrepresentations and evil schemes of the devil, remember these are the tribulations in which, Jesus said, we are to be of good cheer, because He has overcome the world. And because He has overcome we have overcome. Our job now, as Jesus’ ambassadors, is to exercise the force of love to make the people who oppose Him aware of His Word and show the pathway to be delivered and saved by the blood of the lamb and the word of our testimony.
Pray, Love and Proclaim the Good News. It’s not hard, because the Love of God is already in us, if we confess that Jesus is Lord and believe in our hearts that God has raised Him from the dead.
We are saved and therefore, the Holy Spirit is in us manifesting the love of God in our hearts. Our job is to let His love flow out of us now to the world, so they will hear and believe that Jesus is alive, and through us, is still preaching the good news to the poor, healing the brokenhearted, proclaiming liberty to the captives, the opening of prisons to those who are bound and proclaiming the acceptable year of the Lord.