‘Woe unto you that are full for ye shall hunger. Woe us you that laugh now for ye shall mourn and weep.
Whilst we are this side of eternity, the kingdom is not all eating and drinking or having fun. Some of us will suffer hardship and as good soldiers of the cross. The new testaments (Acts in particular) is replete with the sufferings of those who followed Jesus from John to many of the disciples in New Testament days.
The suffering continues for some of our brothers and sisters across the world who have lost their lives or are at this present time in physical chains.
Of course there are good days and we say through experience that ‘the joy of the Lord is our strength’ but there are dark days when all around our soul gives sway and when we are rejected because of the call of God on our lives. These are days when some of us hear ‘did God really say?’ or ‘in whose authority are you doing this or that?’ He sees, he hears and he knows it all.
The Bible warns us to be careful when men think highly of us – by extension : be careful when you are being patted on the back, or just fitting in with the status quo.
We are called to be different, to be peculiar, to be separate and to come out from amongst them.
It is a sad reality but the Bible say it and cannot lie : Not everyone who says Lord, Lord shall enter into the kingdom. It is not the suffering that guarantees our entrance, but the state of the heart and whether we have striven lawfully.
We thank God for his grace and ask him to show us the things that would separate us from him. We know that nothing can separate us from his love. For sure, the choices we make in this life can separate us from an eternal dwelling place with Him but whilst it is day, we have opportunity to change.
We continue to pray for our brothers and sisters under persecution and ask God to send angels of mercy to minister to their every need.
Father we thank you for the grace on our lives. The grace that enables us to stand despite the many afflictions and trials. The continued joy of knowing you, working for you and having you in our lives, gives us strength.
Lord when we are buffeted and persecuted for righteousness sake, help us to strive lawfully. Let us not give the enemy a foothold, nor bring disrepute to your name. Help us to wear the armor that you gave (helmet, sword, belt, breastplate, shield and shoes )and to wear it well.
Help us to see our victory with the eyes of the spirit and know that because you overcame, we will overcome. We declare that we are overcomers in your Name.
We remember our brothers and sisters in peril this day, those who are at the frontline and the sharp end of the battle. For them, we ask for increased grace to withstand and to stand. Help us to have your heart of compassion, to mourn with those that mourn. It is not all happy clappy; help us to read the sign of the times.
Help us to humble ourselves in your sight, so that in due season you will have mercy on us and lift us up.
Linda J UK