"About that time King Herod Agrippa began to persecute some believers in the church. He had the apostle James (John’s brother) killed with a sword. When Herod saw how much this pleased the Jewish people, he also arrested Peter... Then he imprisoned him, placing him under the guard of four squads of four soldiers each... But while Peter was in prison, the church prayed very earnestly for him." Acts 12:1-5 (NLT)
The Bible talks about being persecuted “for the sake of Christ” but Jesus himself tells us to be of Good Cheer, I have overcome the World.
In our daily walk with Jesus Christ we are sure to experience some of the same trials and persecutions. Most of us have experienced the loss of a dear friend, beloved brothers and sisters in Christ, broken promises, dreams delayed, rejections and abandonment. When these things happen, we can begin to feel lost, alone and unloved. However, nothing can be further from the Truth.
Jesus Himself says, “I am with you and always until the end of the world.” (Mt 28:20). He goes on to say that we are loved with an Everlasting Love. (Jer. 31:3). You see our Lives are hidden (interwoven) with Christ. This happened the day of our new birth. The very day we accepted Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we relinquished the right to control our own destinies. Jesus Christ is now obligated to mold, shape and weave our lives in the direction that has been ordained (planned) from the foundation of the World.
The book of Ephesians tells us that we are God’s Workmanship Created in Christ Jesus for Good Works that we should do.
Jesus gave us a command that we are to follow him. Following Christ will most certainly lead us off the beaten path into unfamiliar territory. This unfamiliar territory is in fact our true selves created in the image of Christ Jesus. 1 Peter 2:9 states, “that we are a chosen generation, royal priesthood, holy nation called out of Darkness into his marvelous light.” Basically God knows where we are, where we’re going, and how to bring us to our expected end (God’s ultimate Glory).
Life is full of constant changes. Those changes, often times, take us by surprise. They can be slight or profound. They can affect all areas of our lives, but mostly they can cause us to become distracted and shift our focus away from our HELP. When this happens, know that Jesus Christ is our constant, unchanging, ever present help in times of need.
Look up and remember that our High Priest (Jesus) is even now making intercession (praying for us). Jesus Christ stands in the gap advocating (pleading) for God’s will to be in our lives. So no matter what we may be walking through right now, our God is for us in every situation and circumstance, whether we feel his presence or not.
We can trust, rely upon, stand on his love and commitment, to bring about his perfect will in our lives. What are you willing to endure for the sake of Christ?