Beloved, the hard times and sufferings believers are passing through all over the world in this present time should not be a thing of surprise because it has been long foretold.
We have been told that when the end of all things approaches, believers will be purified because there is every possibility they have been polluted and contaminated by the putrefying world. So, to separate the genuine believers from pretenders and the wicked, all must pass through trials.
While these trials will not deter believers from maintaining holiness and spiritual exercise, it will help them understand the sign of the End Time. The trials and persecutions of the churches and believers are to prepare them, by taking away their filth, as gold and silver are tried and refined.
This is the glory of Christians and it is their great duty to suffer persecution, because God destined it for them.
1Thess. 3:3-4 states, “That no man should be moved by these afflictions: for yourselves know that we are appointed thereunto. 4 For verily, when we were with you, we told you before that we should suffer tribulation; even as it came to pass, and ye know”
All Christians are exposed to trials, persecution and cannot hope to avoid it. Therefore, we must not be deterred by what is happening in the world today vis-à-vis the killings, intimidation and persecution ongoing in the world in this present time, for such was the Divine arrangement. No one that professed Christianity could hope to be exempted from the trial, for it was the common lot of all believers.
Believers are under a divine appointment from God Himself, to undergo trouble and affliction, as that will prepare them for eternal rest.
It is a part of God’s gracious plan that His people in this world should suffer trials. Christians should see and acknowledge God’s Hand in their trials, as well as their mercies, and never be led by them to renounce their confidence in Him, or their devotion to His service.
Paul the Apostle said he did not consider his life so valuable as to turn away from persecutions. That he was willing to lay down his life in the persecution, if it became necessary. And he concluded that if he should lay down his life, it would be to finish his course with joy.
In the faithful discharge of duty, he had nothing to fear. He understood that life would be ended with peace, whenever God should require him to finish his course.
Acts 20:24, “But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.”
Paul said he considered all afflictions and persecutions against him as nothing and they weigh him down not. This was the declaration of almost all the early disciples and should be the declaration of good Christians. Duty is of more importance than life; and when either duty or life is to be sacrificed, life is to be cheerfully surrendered.
It was a comfort to Apostle Paul to allow trials purified him and it should be a comfort to all the saints, that whatever their lot is in the days of their lives, they shall have a happy lot in the end of the days. The saints should strive so to live that they may have nothing to regret, when they lie on deathbed. (Guardian)