Have you heard the “blessings” teachings? All you have to do is believe and claim the power of God and all your sickness, stress and worries will disappear. Whenever I hear this, my skin crawls. No, they flat-out make me angry. Of course God wants to bless us, but His blessings may be different than we expect and take longer than we’d like. After all, He isn’t nearly concerned about our “happiness” as He is that we become like His Son. How many sincere new believers walk away from the faith when it becomes obvious that the Christian life is not a guarantee of a easy and wealthy life? Several years ago I nearly fell victim to this
load of hogwash false teaching. I wondered why I wasn’t receiving the blessings that these ministers promised. What was I doing wrong? Could I not even muster faith the size of a mustard seed?
Then Jesus spoke to me. He said, “I never promised you a bed of roses”. (Okay, no, there was no audible voice, but those who speak to God regularly know what I am talking about) . In fact, He said, you can be certain you will face many struggles for my name.
Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. 21 But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me. 22 If I had not come and spoken to them, they would have no sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. 23 He who hates Me hates My Father also. 24 If I had not done among them the works which no one else did, they would have no sin; but now they have seen and also hated both Me and My Father. 25 But this happened that the word might be fulfilled which is written in their law, ‘They hated Me without a cause.’ John 15
16 “Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. 17 But beware of men, for they will deliver you up to councils and scourge you in their synagogues. Matthew 10
We Christians in America have it pretty good, do we not? Sure animosity towards Christians grows daily in America, but we still have no idea what it means to be persecuted on a grand scale. Not like our brothers and sisters in other parts of the world. Christians all over the world are fearing for their very lives. Young girls are being kidnapped and raped in Egypt. Churches are being burned, or denied building permits. And lots worse. All over the world, followers of Christ know what Jesus meant when He warned of persecution. We in America fret because we can’t afford that vacation or this new car. We are “stressed out”, mostly as a result of our own choices. Feels me with shame; how spoiled we are. The “blessing” teachings that have swept the nation are a slap in the face of those Christians who truly know what persecution is all about. I’d be willing to bet they also have a better understanding, when it comes down to it, of what peace in Christ really means too.
Will you join me in praying for these brothers and sisters? May God give them peace, comfort and direction. May they believe and cling to His words when He said,
18 “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. John 15
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.11 “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. Matthew 5
22 And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved. Matthew 10
12 Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. James 1
For an idea of the persecutions facing Christians across the globe, take a look at the following articles:
For Christians, Spring begins with persecution
Mounting persecution scaring Egypt’s Christians into leaving
Alarm over exodus of Christians from Syria
Bangladeshi Christians targets of persecution
Anglican school where 75% of the pupils are Muslim drops Christian hymns from assemblies
Abductions of Christian girls in Egypt
Christians in Tanzania Nervous
Violence against Christians in India
Sudan says no new churches
Church raided in Kazakhstan
Many Christians suffer in central asian prisons