Monday, July 20, 2015

Ways to Not Lose Hope As a Christian in a Minority Culture (Part 3)

This is a seven part series that was originally given as one meditation for a vespers service at Central Christian Church in Grand Rapids Michigan.  In my opinion, people who are living their lives with the Bible as their authority are in a minority in our country.

I took a FB test recently that told me I was a pessimist.  While I have never been a sugar plums and puppies kind of person, I have been a half full girl, not a half empty one.

I have so changed since 9-11.  Since I do not believe our country will be improving any time in the near future, am I doomed to be a pessimist?  NO!  I can pray for an attitude adjustment and I can tell myself the TRUTH, the way that I always have when times have gotten tough in my life.

Truth Three:   I need to tell myself the truth about suffering and persecution.

Suffering or suffer is mentioned six times in I Peter.  Here are some key verses to recall when those feelings of despair start to rise in me:

"But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God.  For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.  He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth.  When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly."

 Even Jesus had to continue putting his life in the hands of the Father! 

If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.  But let none of you suffer as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer or as a meddler.  Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name. 
Therefore let those who suffer according to God's will entrust their souls to a faithful Creator while doing good. "

Here are some comforting words for those who suffer as Christians taken from The Sermon on The Mount:
 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.  Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you."
Rejoice and be glad.  Hmm.  I have been doing anything BUT this!  I don't want to be called a bigot or a fearmonger!  Help me God to rejoice and be glad.


  1. These passages make me think of my brothers and sisters in Christ who are TRULY suffering for being associated with the One True Living God, for loving Him, prison...disowned and even hurt by out of town...macheted...burned...economically sanctioned so as not to be able to get a job, for being a Christ-follower...How do they do it, except the Spirit of glory and of God is upon them! My teaching leader at BSF was telling us...not to worry if you would stand up under persecution...He is able to grant the words, the strength, WHEN YOU NEED IT...look at how Stephen lived and then died~!
    I believe days are coming - days are here, for some Americans - when we will be persecuted - maybe not like the Asian/Arab Christians...but in ways that really impact our lives...churches may become NON-TAX-EXEMPT as they stand firm for only one man-one-woman marriage....for example.

  2. I feel very impacted already and I haven't even "suffered" yet!