“The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.” – Romans 8:16-17
2 Timothy 3:12 tells us that “ALL who live Godly WILL suffer persecution.” They will be rejected, lied on, slandered, cursed, hurt, and hated at the least, while many will be beaten, in-prisoned, tortured, and even put to death. Yet we are told that though the severity may very, persecution, trial, and tribulation is not some remote possibility for Christians in an other country or of an other time, but that ALL true believers will face it and have to endure it if they are truly led of God’s Spirit because the first place the Spirit will lead you is into a wilderness where the faith you claim will be tested so that you can come out testifying to others of the faith you have and the grace it manifested to you in your wilderness when you stood upon it and where not shaken from it. In this will you then be proven fit for the masters use in the greater works that He desires to entrust you with. For they will surely stir up a far greater persecution against you then the former, yet will you have learned to trust God with this giant on the battle field because that you have already learned to trust Him with the lion and the bear in the wilderness, for the purpose that the impossible feats of faith preformed by you may glorify God even as Christ did.
“Then was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil.” – Matthew 4:1
Even Christ Himself had to endure rejection and persecution for the sake of obeying the Father’s voice and will, and it is no different for us, for the servant is not greater then His Master. If they did it to Christ, they will do it to us. So away with this false notion of an easy Christianity, a painless Pentecost, a Passoverless salvation, a sacrificeless death, and a powerless resurrection. It’s high time the modern church put down their pacifiers, their passive liars, their useless muses, their petty excuses, and pick up their cross and follow Christ down that straight and narrow path that so few are willing to walk because it’s not the easy road, it’s the broken one. It cuts the feet with every step, yet for love we ought to walk it. We will walk the wide road being cut to the heart with every step for the love of the world but we won’t walk the narrow one for the love of God.
Selfishness! It’s all rooted in selfishness. “Oh make me known like Christ but don’t make me known for what Christ was known for. Don’t make me too unconventional. Don’t make me too uncomfortable. Don’t make me too unlikable. Don’t make me too unconformable. His yoke is easy and His burden is light, I don’t really have to carry that heavy cross”…
Oh my friend of little faith, you miss the point completely. Because of love the true believer will pick up the cross in faith, then being yoked together with Christ will He then bare the burden with you and you with Him. In this will His strength make the burden light and easy to bare as His grace is shared with those who love Him enough to except the burden in faith. Once picked up in faith then and only then will His grace (which is favor and power) be poured out that you be able to carry it as a witness and testimony to others of the impossible love, strength, power, faithfulness, and glory of our God granted to us and manifested through us that it might prove us in faith and the strength of our God through us in grace. Yet none of it will come but by trusting God when you are led of the Spirit into a wilderness that no one else will understand and everyone else will reprimand.
So lay down your desire to please anyone but God, set your eyes on things eternal, set your heart on Him alone, yoke up with Christ Himself, pick up your cross in love and faith, and go in fearless grace, because that love for God cast out the fear of man. The fields are ready, the Master is calling, do you have eyes to see and ears to hear? Or will you forfeit the Kingdom in the name of comfort, doubt, selfishness, and fear?
Yes we are saved by Grace through Faith but understand that faith must be tested for grace to be proven. In this is the tree proved by the fruit that it bares, and those that be proven only, Jesus says… “the Kingdom is theirs”.
“So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure: Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer:” – 2 Thessalonians 1:4-5
“But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” – Matthew 24:13