Stay fo­cused in face of tri­als

Grocott's Mail - - SOUL FOOD -

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

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