17 From now on let no one cause me trouble, for I bear on my body the marks of Jesus.
Galatians 6:17 English Standard Version
The Apostle Paul wanted the Galatians to know that the scars he had on his body and by being persecuted, were more significant and substantial than the scar of circumcision. This gave him the right to boast about all he had done and suffered in preaching the gospel. As Christians, it helps to give us some perspective when we too face rejection or get discouraged by people unable or unwilling to receive Jesus Christ.
Consider these words from our Lord:
10 “How enriched you are when you bear the wounds of being persecuted[a] for doing what is right![b] For that is when you experience the realm of heaven’s kingdom. 11 “How ecstatic you can be when people insult and persecute you and speak all kinds of cruel lies about you because of your love for me! 12 So leap for joy—since your heavenly reward is great. For you are being rejected the same way the prophets were before you.
The widespread suffering and persecution of Christians is staggering. It is reported that for every five minutes, a Christian is being put to death somewhere in the world. The hostility and threats to Christians, however, brings an opposite effect; whereby the gospel is boldly proclaimed in some of the worst parts of the world, and yet the number of believers grows exponentially.
Don’t give up sharing your faith, even when it seems like a waste of time or something impossible. Paul teaches us to be faithful in spite of the consequences. We need to trust God and remember He will take care of us.
Learn to share the gospel with courage and clarity. Don’t be intimidated or feel that you have to first become an expert in order to reach the lost. Always look for opportunities to reach others for Christ but leave it to the Holy Spirit to convict the person of sin and also the joy of salvation. For after all, it is God who saves.
When we cooperate with God and obey His leading, our family and community will experience transformation and breakthroughs. Then we can rejoice over the great work of God as He works in and through us to bring about salvation to those who believe.
Have you ever felt and prayed for fellow brothers and sisters in Christ enduring persecution?
© Copyright Richard Tan, 2019.
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the New King James Version®.
Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.