Sometimes we have to go through things we do not understand at the time. We can only see the small picture. Most of the time the things we are going through are not just for us, to build our Faith and testimony in Jesus, but it’s for others as well. Whether they may see us going thru it, or to be and encouragement to them with our testimony later and even bring forth salvation.
Look at Paul and Silas, they were out preaching the gospel when one with a spirit of divination kept following them and it grieved Paul. So he cast it out and both him and Silas were cast into prison.
“And it came to pass, as we went to prayer, a certain damsel possessed with a spirit of divination met us, which brought her masters much gain by soothsaying: The same followed Paul and us, and cried, saying, These men are the servants of the most high God, which shew unto us the way of salvation. And this did she many days. But Paul, being grieved, turned and said to the spirit, I command thee in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her. And he came out the same hour. And when her masters saw that the hope of their gains was gone, they caught Paul and Silas, and drew them into the marketplace unto the rulers, And brought them to the magistrates, saying, These men, being Jews, do exceedingly trouble our city, And teach customs, which are not lawful for us to receive, neither to observe, being Romans. And the multitude rose up together against them: and the magistrates rent off their clothes, and commanded to beat them. And when they had laid many stripes upon them, they cast them into prison, charging the jailor to keep them safely: Who, having received such a charge, thrust them into the inner prison, and made their feet fast in the stocks.” – Acts 16:16-24
Jesus said we will be persecuted for his name sake.
“Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his Lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also. But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.” – John 15:20-21
So we will go thru these hard time and we will be persecuted, but it’s how we deal with the persecution that matters. What did Paul and Silas do when they were in prison? They prayed and sang praises to God!
“And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them. And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken: and immediately all the doors were opened, and every one’s bands were loosed.” – Act 16:25-26
That’s how we should be no matter what our persecution is! Whether it’s someone persecuting you or something else, it is the enemy trying to bring you down and bring you away from God. However, through these times we can build our Faith, and through God and our testimony we can even encourage others, bringing them closer to Christ. Through Paul and Silas being in prison the door keeper was saved but not just him, his whole house.
“And the keeper of the prison awaking out of his sleep, and seeing the prison doors open, he drew out his sword, and would have killed himself, supposing that the prisoners had been fled. But Paul cried with a loud voice, saying, Do thyself no harm: for we are all here. Then he called for a light, and sprang in, and came trembling, and fell down before Paul and Silas, And brought them out, and said, Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. And they spake unto him the word of the Lord, and to all that were in his house. And he took them the same hour of the night, and washed their stripes; and was baptized, he and all his, straightway. And when he had brought them into his house, he set meat before them, and rejoiced, believing in God with all his house.” – Acts 16:26-34
So going through these hard times can bring life to others and bring us closer to God. It’s all in how we decide to deal with our situations. We can choose to let it bring us down physically, emotionally, and spiritually or we can pray, praise God, and completely trust Him, because He is faithful and He will bring us through it, even if it means a physical death.
“For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.” – Philippians 1:2
Submitted by @ Priscilla Bazer