Greater Glory Christian Coaching, LLC, TM
Faith Based Spiritual Care For Women
Coaching, Mentoring, and Christian Speaking Ministry
Reflecting On Being Mistreated or Persecuted
Mistreatment, Ill-Treatment, and Persecution encompass a very broad spectrum:
From the emotional wounds of being betrayed, insulted, gossip about, slandered, rejection, ostracism, hatred and hostility,
to denial of rights, false imprisonment, loss of jobs, confiscation or destruction of personal property,
even to the cruelty of physical and bodily harm.
NO MATTER WHAT YOU ARE GOING THROUGH....OR HAVE BEEN THROUGH...OR WILL GO THROUGH...
GOD SEES, HE HEARS, AND HE KNOWS!
Jesus said that ALL who want to live a Godly life in Christ Jesus WILL suffer persecution. (2 Timothy 3:12-13)
So if this is the walk you desire, as I do, then it's not a matter of "if", but "when" you will face some trouble.
One pastor friend had to flee FROM HIS OWN FAMILY and his country after denouncing his families religion to accept Christ.
He confided that they would have killed him.
Another beautiful Christian woman who I recently met shared with me that in her country,
Christians are denied enrollment to the University, and are denied being hired in many career fields.
All to dissuade people from being Christian.
My Sister, please hear me!
PERSECUTION DOES NOT DEFINE YOU.
It defines your the one who is persecuting you.
PERSECUTION IS NOT YOUR IDENTITY.
Your identity is in Christ Jesus.
It's important to point out that not every trial or problem is persecution.
But persecution is specific and intentional, and involves malice and ill-will, and is always targeted.
That's how you know the difference.
When it IS clearly and unmistakably persecution, with an intent to hurt you, harm you or harass you on any level,
then know that the reason you are being mistreated or persecuted
is simply because we belong to Jesus, and do not belong to the world anymore.
The Lord left us with these clear precautions:
"If they persecuted me (they did), they will persecute you also. (John 15:20)
"If you belonged to the world, it would love you as it's own.
As it is, you do not belong to the world; but I have chosen you out of the world.
That is why the world hates you. (John 15:19)
We find another explanation in 1 Peter 4: 3-4:
"You have spent enough time in the past doing what the pagans (unbelievers) do.
They think it strange that you do not run with them, and plunge into the same flood of dissipation (sin, immorality, decline)
with them anymore.....so they heap abuse on you.
The Lord Jesus promises blessings to mistreated and persecuted believers,
both right now on earth,
as well as exceedingly great rewards that we will enjoy for all eternity in heaven!
EARTHLY BLESSINGS FOR THOSE BEING PERSECUTED:
When You Are INSULTED You Are Blessed
When people FALSELY SAY ALL KINDS OF EVIL AGAINST YOU You Are Blessed.
When people REJECT YOU and SCORN YOU as being evil You Are Blessed.
When People EXCLUDE YOU You Are Blessed.
When People HATE YOU, and REVILE YOU You are Blessed
When You Are Persecuted for RIGHTEOUSNESS SAKE You Are Blessed.
(Matthew 5:11-12) (Luke 6:22-23)
"If you should SUFFER FOR DOING WHAT IS RIGHT.You are blessed.
(1 Peter 3)
The Amplified bible describes this blessing as having an inner peace, happiness, delighted in Christ,
and being spiritually full of life and joy in God's goodness.
You are promised that the Holy Spirit will be upon you.
"If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed....
for the Spirit of Glory and the Spirit of God rests on you! (1 Peter 4:14)
Not only is the Holy Spirit with us to provide wisdom and counsel, to provide grace for the situation,
but I believe that as His power rests upon you, (and is in us) your anointing increases.
You are also promised the ability to tap into divine peace at anytime, no matter what!
"I leave MY PEACE with you. My (perfect) peace I give to you.
I do not give you the kind of peace the world can offer, I give you my peace.
Do not let your heart be troubled, and do not let your heart become afraid.
Let my perfect peace calm you in every circumstance and give you courage and strength for every challenge."(John 14:27)
Christian songwriter and musician Matt Redman has a song entitled "Songs In The Night"
The lyrics say "While I Am In The Storm, the Storm is Not In Me".
I love that so much. Can't say I've always lived it and walked it perfectly, but I love it.
You see, what's happening TO US doesn't have to change what's going on INSIDE OF US.
ETERNAL REWARDS FOR THOSE PERSECUTED ON EARTH:
You are blessed when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kind of evil things against you because
of your association with me.
BE GLAD, AND EXCEEDINGLY JOYFUL!!!
BECAUSE YOUR REWARD IN HEAVEN IS GREAT !!!
(Matthew 5: 11-12)
You are blessed when men hate you, when they exclude you, when they insult you, and when they reject you,
and scorn (contempt) your name as if you were evil because of me.
REJOICE IN THAT DAY, LEAP FOR JOY!
BECAUSE GREAT IS YOUR REWARD IN HEAVEN!!
Jesus is painting a picture of looking forward , and knowing that there will be a day that the scores are evened up.
Without encouragement of future vindication, many could give up their faith.
God's Formula For Dealing With A Persecutor !
Love Your Enemies,
Bless Them That Curse You,
Do Good To Those Who Hate You
Pray for Those Who Spitefully Use You and Persecute You (Matt 5:44)
Before we discuss the concepts of loving, blessing, and doing good,
let me quickly say that you also need to be safe.
You need to set appropriate boundaries.
Be wise, and protect yourself if someone is trying to hurt you.
When they tried to throw Jesus off a cliff, He left and removed Himself.
Put some distance between you and them when it's needed.
Now... let's look at Jesus 's commandment towards persecutors:
We can manifest God's love and bless their lives, and do good to them by praying for them.
Ask God to Give You His love them. Don't let hatred or bitterness begin to enter in.
Try to see them as He see's them... as someone His Son died to save.
You must understand that God wants them to receive prayer!
Pray for them to be saved and come into the kingdom of God.
Understand that the reason that they persecute you is that they do not belong to God and don't know Him.
Pray for their salvation, that their name be written in the Lamb's book of life.
You never know, you may be the only person praying for them so give it all you got.
"And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Him". Romans 8:9
Once they are saved and yield their life to the Lordship of Jesus Christ,
their words, actions, attitudes and behaviors will change.
My Sister, your prayer could save them from an eternity in hell.
It's not productive to spend a lot of time and energy trying to get them to stop mistreating you or change their behavior.
In their current state, with a carnal nature at best, being against Christ at worst,
they most likely won't change until God get's ahold of their hearts.
Instead, put your energy and focus into prayer for their spiritual condition.
Pray that their mind (eyes) might be open.
so they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ.
or God has made His light shine in OUR hearts, to give US the light of the knowledge of the glory of God. (2 Cor 4: 4, 6)
This is a reminder that WE were once in darkness also, but God made the light of the gospel come alive to us.
We can now pray for those whose minds are currently blinded to the things of God and pray them free.
This gives me compassion for them.
It helps me move away from WHAT they might be doing, to WHY they are doing it.
Pray for the Holy Spirit to Convict Them:
The Lord says to do good to them. One of the most powerful gifts we can give is to ask the Lord to bring conviction.
Conviction causes people to stop and turn TO God.
(Condemnation always causes them to turn AWAY from God).
We are allowed to condemn their wicked words (Isaiah 54:17) meaning to break the power of their words over us,
but we never condemn the person.
That's way above our pay grade.
Conviction leads to Godly sorrow, which leads to repentance, which leads to salvation, which leads to eternal life in Heaven.
Pray to Loose the Spirit of Adoption Over Their Life
The Spirit of Adoption (The Holy Spirit) will draw a person to Christ, so they can also cry out "Abba, Father"
through a relationship with Jesus Christ. (Romans 8:15)
Pray can turn an enemy into a brother or sister.
It can turn a Saul into a Paul.
Cast The Care To The Lord
Cast all your cares, anxieties, fears, worries on Jesus, for He cares for you. (1 Peter 5:7)
Jesus is your caregiver. He will take of you.
The battle is the Lords.
Don't Stop..Just Ask The Lord If You Need To Adjust
"Men will hate you because of me. When you are persecuted in one place, leave; and go to another place (Matt 10:20)
This was spoken to traveling disciples but the principle is: Don't stop doing whatever it is you have been called to do.
People need you.
When Jesus was persecuted, He would move along to the next village and continue His mission.
Be As Gracious As Possible.
We work hard with our own hands.
When we are cursed, we bless.
When we are persecuted, we endure it.
When we are slandered, we answer kindly.
Be patient, stand firm (hang in there).. because the Lord's coming is near. (1 Cor 4:12)
Don't Get Into Fear or Anxiety
Don't be anxious about anything at all, but in every situation, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving,
present your requests to God. (Phil 4:6)
(Obviously we use every wisdom. .If the law is being broken, do call the police)..
Forgive Your Enemies and Don't Behave Like Your Enemies Do
Don't return evil for evil. Do not repay insult with insult. (1 Peter 3:9)
Do Not Take Revenge, Leave Room For God's Wrath (if they don't repent..) (Romans 12:19)
Don't Give Up Or Abandon Your Faith
..."All this I have told you so that you will not give up, nor go astray" (John 16:1)
Soak Up God's Love
"What shall separate us from Christ's love for us? Does trouble, or hardship or persecution separated us from His love?
No! Never! In all these things (we go through), we are MORE than conquerors THROUGH HIM who loved us.
Nothing in all of creation will be able to separate us from God's love. (Romans 8:35)
(He's up there cheering you on! He is so proud that you stay with Him in the midst of hardships)
The Lord's Grace and Power Will Work On Your Behalf
"My grace is sufficient for you.
My power is perfected during your weakness.
Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses (sufferings) so that Christ's power may rest on me.
That is why for Christs sake,
I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties..
For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Cor 12:9)
Persecutions hurt and weaken us. God knows that and he has provided strength, grace and power. HIS!!
The Lord Will Re-Strengthen You
And the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal Glory (Heaven)..
after you have suffered awhile
(after you have been through a season of suffering)..
will HIMSELF restore you, make you strong again, firm, and steadfast. (1 Peter 5:10)
God will not let His people remain weak, weary and wiped out. He will make you strong.
The Lord to Deliver You
"Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers them out of all of them. ALL of them. (Ps 34:19)
The key to this promise is that it's in His timing, not ours. He is at work behind the scenes.
(Stay out of His way, don't mess it up.)
YOU ARE NEVER ALONE!
The Lord Will Never Leave You or Forsake You!
The Lord is Watching Over You.!
The Lord Will Send His Angels To You!
The Lord Will Never Abandon you.!
The Lord is Not Unjust!
The Lord understands that persecution is hard, and sometimes traumatic.
Jesus is our example, and He endured a lot of conflicts with people.
What is not understood will be rejected.
You see, the Lord knows that your "light and momentary" (short-term) troubles and afflictions
(short term..... as viewed from an eternal perspective in light of eternity)
are achieving an eternal weight (level or degree) of glory for you .....
that far outweighs or exceeds everything you've been through.. (2 Corn. 4:8)
While we still might not be able to get your head around "leaping for joy",
know that whatever we go through for obedience to the Lord and for His kingdom
will be worth it in the end.
And the "end" lasts forever and ever.
My Dear Sister, if that's you .... you are going to have a wonderful eternity !
Susan Smith is a mature, Spirit filled Christian, ordained Reverend, Board Certified Advanced Professional Christian Life Coach,
Certified Christian Mentor, Spiritual Care Giver, Christian Writer and Certified Motivational Speaker.
She can be counted on to be an authentic, bold, passionate, kind, and unwavering voice sharing God's unstoppable word of hope.