Stay focused in face of trials
It is often very difficult for the children of God to remain focused on God, during times of persecution, trials and hardships. It is easy to become distracted by what we face and as a result become despondent. At times, the temptation to think God has forsaken us becomes very real.
The Apostle Peter encouraged the scattered believers, in Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, who were experiencing vicious and intense persecution, to keep their focus on God, and on what He has done for them in and through the person and work of our Lord Jesus Christ. We, the followers of Christ, should take great encouragement from what Peter wrote to those who were tested and persecuted, by focusing on the following:
We ought to praise God for, and remind ourselves of, His great mercy toward us. We are born again not because of anything we have done but because of God’s great compassion. Not only so, but we are born anew into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. Hope arose with Christ from the grave. Our hope is real and authentic because it is in person of Christ. We have an inheritance kept by God for us in heaven, and we ourselves are being kept by God’s power to receive it. Church, there is much to rejoice in during trying times (1 Peter 1:1-7).
My fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, when facing persecution for our faith, may we intentionally remind ourselves, for our own encouragement, to reflect on the mercy God has lavished on us in Christ. Don’t lose focus when the storms rage. What God has done for us in His great mercy, in and through the Lord Jesus Christ, is the greatest encouragement ever!
Pastor Gino Nel The Bowker Street Baptist Church