2 Timothy 3:10-12 King James Version
10 But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience,
11 Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.
12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
It’s not a matter of if, but a matter of when. We don’t want to hear that. We want to hear that life is rosy, that all will be well and that we will not suffer at all. We want to hear that we will be healthy, wealthy and wise. Jesus even said that in this world we shall suffer tribulation. Sao why do we resists it? Why do we run away from it? Why do we do everything we can to get out of it when it comes? If trials, texts, persecution, tribulation and such things are going to be a part of our life, they must also be a part of God’s plan for our life. And if they are God’s plan, why not embrace them and walk with God through them. Doesn’t that just make sense? Hard? Yes! Needful? Yes! Good for us? Yes!
I did a podcast with a friend of mine last week. He wanted to know more about how I get the inspiration from God for my poetry. How do I hear from God? How does subject matter come to me? Why do I write them all down? He did a good job with the interview
And in the midst of it I learned a lot about myself and what God was doing within me during that time. One of the things I told Him was that, outside of my salvation and marriage, cancer was the best thing that ever happened to me. He asked me to explain that. I told him that because of the silence in that hospital bed for 21 days, when my wife had gone home and the TV was turned off, I could better hear the voice of God. I learned to tune into that and write down what He was speaking to me. As a result, almost 1,500 psalms, hymns and spiritual songs were written during that time, a few books of the Bible were studied and commented on, a book was written and people around the world were touched. I truly believe if I did not have cancer, I would not be typing this right now. I would not be contemplating publishing my poetry. I would not be as close to God as I am right now.
Consider what Paul went through for a minute. In 2 Corinthians 11, he lists his trials. He was in prison a few times, received 39 lashes on his back three times, stoned on, three shipwrecks during one of which he spent a day and a half adrift at sea, perils from robbers, his own countrymen, by the heathen, in the city, in the wilderness, in the sea. He had been hungry and cold and thirsty and naked. But he says it was all worth it for Christ. None of us have suffered anywhere near what Paul suffered. We are rich by comparison, and live lives of comfort, free from men who would pout scars on our body and display us as strange and deranged. Could we withstand such tribulation, such trials as Paul did? I hardly think so, for most of us.
Then look at what Paul accomplished. Dozens of churches started, with hundreds more by people he put in place. Half of the New Testament written by his hand. Much of our doctrine is derived from his writings. His affliction brought him the ability to do great things for God. They freed him from the worry of being loved by the world because he was only concerned with being loved by Jesus! Ost of us, on the other hand, are much more concerned with being loved by others and figure God loves us anyway. We take God’s grace for granted so often!
I plan on living a Godly life. I plan on serving Him with all my heart. I need to get my priorities straight because if I am going to give Him my all, I am going to see trouble coming to me. I have to know in my heart of hearts that he will work all things for my good. I have to know that He will deliver me out of them all. I have to know that he will direct my path if I trust Him and not try to understand things and if I acknowledge He is in it all. There is nothing that gets by Him and nothing He cannot use to make me a better disciple. One I get those truths through this thick skull of mine, I will be well on my way top serving Him as I should serve Him with all my heart soul, mind and strength. That is the true will of God and it translates into loving my neighbor as myself.
Come one church! Let’s show the world we are not afraid of them. Let’s show the world that we are unabashedly lovers of Jesus Christ. Let’s get on our knees in prayer when we can so we can show the world we are a praying church. Let’s fast and pray so the world can see the church in action, as people are healed, delivered, saved and set free. Let’s do this!