In Touch Daily Devotional
by Dr. Charles Stanley
August 21, 2007 – Blessing in Persecution – 1 Peter 4:12-14
We certainly don’t feel blessed when we’re being insulted and persecuted. But Jesus said in Matthew 5:11 that we, in fact, are blessed in those times. The Lord’s perspective on persecution differs from ours. He considers it a positive thing if we suffer in His name. You may ask why persecution benefits us.
First, it proves our faith. The only way we can know the capacity of our faith is through testing. When we persevere through a trial, we begin to understand our ability to remain steadfast and obedient in the midst of challenges. We also learn the magnitude of God’s strength to support us through persecution.
Second, persecution purifies our lives. It snaps our attention away from meaningless things and onto the Lord. We’re driven into His arms by suffering. As we grow closer to Him, He’ll remind us of wrong attitudes and actions. Some may be related to our trial and others may not. Persecution is a powerful cleansing tool.
Third, it prepares us for greater service. Suffering breaks our pride and self-reliance, attitudes that hinder our usefulness for the Lord. Pride crumbles when we realize we’re incapable of living the Christian life alone, especially when we’ve been insulted and hurt.
A life of ease and pleasure isn’t always a sign of blessing. First Peter 4:12 says to not “be surprised at the fiery ordeal ... as though some strange thing were happening”. If persecution strengthens our faith, purifies our hearts, and equips us for greater service, then we should thank the Lord for the way He’ll use it in our life.
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