Jesus welcomed the people, taught them about the Kingdom of God and healed those in need. Luke 9:11

Seeds of the Kingdom

Suffering

by Tanya Person

28 October 2014

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If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.
1 Peter 4:15-17, NIV

We’re hearing so much lately about the persecution of Christians around the world. In many countries Christians are being killed or imprisoned for their faith. It’s becoming increasingly difficult in many western countries to speak up for what we believe. Coming from ‘Christian’ nations, we’re appalled at the lack of morals, and the way our countries are turning their backs on God.

But I heard a pastor say something the other day that made me really stop and think. He said, “Christians around the world are known more for what we stand against than for what we stand for”. I thought about these words, ‘If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name’(1 Peter 4:15-17). This word ‘meddler’ is translated in other versions as ‘busy-body’, ‘troublemaker’, and ‘troublesome meddler’. No matter how it’s translated, it’s something that’s easy to do, interfering in the affairs of others. But God tells us specifically not to do it!

Please understand, I’m not saying that we can’t speak up for what’s right. But I question how often we try to make unbelievers live by God’s laws and then suffer for being meddlers. I want to show the world what we stand for. I want to show them that there’s hope for a full life in Christ. After all, it’s only through our relationship with Christ that we can hope to live godly lives. How can we expect others to do it without Christ?

So, next time we feel the need to set someone straight, let’s stop and ask God if this is what He wants us to do, or if we’re meddling in affairs we shouldn’t. Let’s learn to know His voice and listen to it, so that when He tells us to speak up, we’ll be ready. We know that when we face persecution for Him that He’ll help us through it.

Prayer: Lord, please help us to hear Your voice clearly. Give us the wisdom to know when we shouldn’t speak, and the boldness to speak when we should. Please give us all the strength to face the persecution that lies ahead, so we can be a shining light for You in a dark and fallen world. Help us to be known for what we stand for rather than what we stand against. Amen.

Tanya Person Tanya and her husband are missionaries to Hungary who have worked with Ellel since 2005. They are part of the regional leadership team for Ellel Central & Eastern Europe, travelling to many countries teaching Ellel schools and helping with the development of Ellel in the region. They have a passion to see leaders restored, the church discipled and walking in God’s fullness of life and freedom, and for mentoring the existing and developing team.

 

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