So that we ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure:  Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer:
2 Thessalonians 1:4-5 KJV
The Thessalonian church went through persesecutions and tribulations for their Faith in Christ, and Paul the Apostle mentioned in the verse above that it helps them to be counted worthy of the Kingdom of God.
Its not as if suffering is the condition to be worthy of heaven. No. Its Not. We must have the right perspective to what God is saying here through Paul.
We should see it as there are some things as believers we must be willing to forgo or pass through to keep our relationship with the Lord.
Jesus said “Whosoever loves his or her mother or father more than Him is not worthy of him. Whosoever loves his/her child or children more than Him is not worthy of Him. Matthew 10:37;
Jesus also said, “Whosoever cannot take up his/her cross and follow Him is not worthy of Him” Matthew 10:38;
Jesus is saying that anything else that takes first place in our life will make us unworthy of Him. Jesus gave His all and we too must give our all. This keeps equation balanced.
Jesus also said we have to take up our cross and follow him. Sometimes that cross might be self denial, sometimes that cross might lead us through some paths of persecution.
Whatever it may be, these are what we must do or endure to keep our relationship with our Saviour.
However, our demeanor and the way we see the situation really matter.
We shouldn’t count anything we do to keep our closeness to Christ as suffering, but rather, always enjoy the fact that we are able to call on the name of the Lord Jesus and enjoy His love and presence without any guilt, sin or restriction. This will help us have a clear conscience, enjoy His peace and be constantly ready for His coming.
Even Jesus said we should rejoice if we are persecuted, for great is our reward in heaven.
To rejoice here doesn’t mean to just focus on the reward and be happy because we are getting a reward only, but actually we should rejoice and bask in the love and presence of God that fellowship with Him brings, which is far sweeter than anything else.
In conclusion, when faced with tribulations or persecutions, we need to ask the Lord to give us the grace to endure and go through whatever we need to for His sake. Its not something we can do alone, but his grace will ever be sufficient.
Previous Three Weeks
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
Philippians 4:8 KJV
Its a usual thing for every person to think. We think everyday about different things without knowing we are even thinking, and sometimes, some thoughts could be worrisome or even unhealthy for us.
The verse above gives us the key to streamlining what we can allow to stay in our mind.
Its states that for a thought to have a settling place in our mind, each thought must have all the above mentioned qualities combined. That is for that thought to be fit for our thinking it must be true, honest, just, pure, lovely, of good report, have virtue, and praise worthy. If that thought doesnt possess all these qualities, it should be shown the exit door out of our hearts.
What then do we do with situations that don’t have these qualities yet need our attention, for example what to think about when a job has been lost? Well the bible states in Philippians 4:6 that we should not worry or fret about anything, but rather we aught to commit that issue to God in prayer.
Therefore, thoughts that need our attention but don’t fit into the category of Philippians 4:8, should be handed over to God in prayers and not given a permanent place in our mind for thinking.
Different types of thought will inevitably cross our minds each day, both good and bad, however, only those that fit into the category of Philippians 4:8 should be given the opportunity to stay in our hearts and be meditated over.
If we can streamline our thoughts this way, then the peace of God mentioned in Philipians 4:7 will overflow our hearts and dwell in us no matter what we might be facing.
I advise you to commit whatever might be worrisome to you to God today in earnest and fervent prayer and leave it with God. God has a solution for everything, we just have to involve Him the right way and it will be well with us.
God bless you. Please share.
Bible Insight For the Week
Therefore David enquired again of God; and God said unto him, Go not up after them; turn away from them, and come upon them over against the mulberry trees.
1 Chronicles 14:14 KJV
Seeking and obeying God’s direction in every major or minor decisions of our life cannot be over emphasized.
This is the very core of what it means to be a child of God. (“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God” Romans 8:14 KJV).
Without this we cannot be fully surrendered to God, and the life of Christ cannot be seen through us.
Like David we must seek and enquire of God and wait for His answer and direction before making any decision in life. It could be as little as knowing the right course to study or as big as what city to live in or the choice of a life partner.
No matter the decision, what matters is we involve God and obey his guidance.
This will keep us in God’s will and prevent us from making costly decisions that we will most likely later regret in life.
Bible Insight For The Week
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
Psalm 119:105 KJV
Imagine someone on a dark path. Not knowing what’s ahead, where to go, or what direction to face.
That’s what this world is like. It will be impossible to know what is right or wrong, or the correct path to take and where that path will lead without some form of light.
The only light that can show us the right path in this life is the Word of God, written in the Bible.
When the Word of God comes in, it shines light to anyone willing to accept it, showing that person what path to take in life and guiding the persons every decision through life. The end of which is crowned with fulfillment and joy.
Hence in everything we do, we need to allow the Word of God be our light, our guide and our standard. Shalom
Bible Insight For The Week
For [godly] sorrow that is in accord with the will of God produces a repentance without regret, leading to salvation; but worldly sorrow [the hopeless sorrow of those who do not believe] produces death.
2 Corinthians 7:10 AMP
Have you ever done something you regretted so badly you couldn’t forgive yourself. You wished your friends or family could forgive and accept you back but you knew it was impossible. Or maybe its something no one else knows, yet you wish you you could wash the memory off your mind and make things new again.
If you have ever experienced such, I can tell you that you’re not the first.
It is a good thing to experience remorse for a wrong doing and allow that remorse lead you to repent and ask Jesus for forgiveness. Jesus will definitely forgive you immediately. However, it becomes dangerous when after repentance you still stay married to the guilt of the wrong committed.
Some even feel too guilty to ask the Lord Jesus for forgiveness, they have feelings of unworthiness and can’t bring themselves to even call on His name and repent. They feel condemned already.
It is not the will of God that we should remain in such guilt. As long as we are sincere in our hearts to God. All we have to do is ask Him to forgive us, and believe He has forgiven us.
The bible says in 1 John 1:9 that Jesus will be faithful to forgive us of our sins if we confess to Him. Since God said He will forgive, we must believe that after confessing to Him, He has forgiven us, for Salvation is by faith.
We must not allow the devil put thoughts of unworthiness, condemnation or continous guilt that will rub us from accepting Christ forgiveness in our lives. All such feelings come from the devil.
All feelings of remorse or guilt that does not lead to repentance in Christ Jesus are from the devil to drive you further away from Jesus.
If Judas Iscariot (the one who betrayed Jesus) had found a way to lay aside the guilt of his actions and ask Jesus to forgive him, Jesus would have forgiven him immediately, but he allowed the guilt of his actions drive him further away from Christ and died without repenting. Now he will regret it for all eternity.
We must learn from this and always run to Jesus even when our feelings want us to run away from Him. Jesus understands us and will immediately forgive us of all our sins no matter how bad they are.
if your reading this and have been experiencing such guilt for an action committed in the past, all you have to do now is ask Jesus to forgive you, accept His forgiveness (say ‘I accept your forgiveness’) and ask Him to give you the grace never to repeat it again.
Be sure to know that God will not remember it again, so you too don’t need to remember it anymore.
God says Isaiah 43:25 KJV “I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins”.