This is just a short blog entry on coming to the understanding of the Lord’s mercy on those whom are lost. Yesterday I had a conversation with a dear Brother in Christ about all the negative ordeals He is facing with loved ones and being isolated. Though I always seek to give encouraging words to someone in distress, it can pain me at times when I feel like I don’t always have the right answer right then and there when it’s needed. The person on the other end of the phone may not be able to see me, but I am usually just shaking my head because hearing my close brethren go through this is unsettling to me and though I am not going through that particular notion with anyone I know right now, I have been through it many times in my life where I was left feeling that despair and hopelessness, feeling as though I was unloved and unappreciated. Anyone whose been there knows what it feels like.
What I have witnessed since last year is that there has been cruelness toward many of the Lord’s children by others they are acquainted with or even love, which they never saw coming. And yes, this includes families feuding over contact, mask mandates and vaccines. You wouldn’t think that these issues should divide people who have strong ties, but it has. Unfortunately, we have a media that has scared everyone half to death in the sense that they brainwashed and convinced many to not even want to be around those they should care for. It’s sad to watch this happening because it has alienated so many and caused much grief. It has left many feeling alienated from their loved ones.
Understandably so to anyone with a heart, they are left feeling perplexed and trying to understand how those they used to have good relationships with could quickly turn on them and treat them with such contempt. While I have recently wrote on this in quite a few of my blogs concerning endurance through these types of trials and encouraging my fellow Brothers and Sisters to continue to keep doing good despite the pressure, I sought to understand how God views these situations. Why do those who spew hatred continue to get away with it?
My friends, if there is one Word we need to hold onto with dear life and make it a point to remember, it is not to allow a root of bitterness to rise up in any of us. I have mentioned this before and so I will continue to beat this point home like a drum as it’s so important to hold onto. We want to remember to be putting on the proper attire, not slowly taking it off and undoing the Lord’s progress in us. In these end times the temptation of bitterness is a big one that Satan will try to snare us with and we must exercise caution in any of these situations as we do not want to be led into sin by means of unforgiveness. It is my hope and prayer that this blog entry will shine light on this subject as I know many of you are dealing with these situations.
Shortly after I got off the phone, I was reflecting on the conversation a lot and thinking on how I could have better offered advice or comforting reassurance concerning the matter. It was a mix of praying and concern. I thought, aside from what we are told in James 1 and Matthew 5 about persecution and rejoicing in the Lord when it happens (which I did briefly mention) that there must be something more that could bring additional wisdom to the table in these types of situations.
Now before I get to the meat and potatoes of this writing; Why is it important to understand joy in persecution? Because it demonstrates that you are living righteously and it puts to shame and shines the light on those who are not. It’s also an opportunity to strengthen your faith and your walk with the Lord. He will use it to draw you near to Him and in the end, it will bring Him the glory because you will thank Him later for the wisdom gained from the experience, and in that there is a lesson to be learned that you may have previously not known of.
Remember that whatever situation it is you face with others, He has what is in your best interests at hand and He will pull you through. It may not make sense at first, but my friend, believe me, it will eventually. You are to set the example, not be snared into responding in a moment of anger and giving a foothold to the devil. Always try to see these situations exactly for what they are -a trap. We need to continue to stand strong in our faith in the face of adversity and uncertainty not giving a foothold to the devil.
Going back to what I was beginning to say earlier, the Lord spoke to me in the spirit that He desired me to review Romans 9 so when I settled in for the night, that’s exactly what I did and it spoke to me concerning this very question I had in regards to God’s mercy on the wicked and how they treat the righteous. Now for anyone who is unfamiliar with this chapter and the verses contained therein, I thought it was a good idea to write on this and I had it in my heart that to not write about it would be a disservice to those out there looking for answers. Hebrews 12 is great for contrast as well where it comes to understanding between those God has chosen (Romans 9) and why we are to endure such treatment.
God decides who to grant mercy to and we do not choose it nor work for it. He will harden the hearts of some so that they don’t listen or comprehend those who do good. If you stop and think about it, the Lord is being very merciful to those who act contrary because it is His will that they will repent and call on the Lord Jesus for forgiveness. As this would the ultimate in His glory, we need to understand that at times we will have to suffer in the face of adversity.
Some will eventually be made right with God once they see the error in their ways and we have to hold onto the hope that this conviction may bring about the repentance the Lord desires. Like I have suggested in my writings where I talk about addressing the truth that sometimes it is a bitter pill to swallow but to the one who embraces they will come out better as a result -it’s the same here where it comes to the unsavory treatment by others.
When we endure through it we come out stronger and the Lord has a way of contending with those He desires to save. For all you know, He may have a plan where that person may eventually be forced to call on you and because you were a good steward of the faith, you will be the shining example of showing mercy so as to bring about the change in that person the Lord desires. We are to continue on as God’s chosen to demonstrate the light He desires to bring forth and that is the glorious salvation in Jesus Christ to redeem the lost.
Remember in all of this, all things work together for good!
Verses as they pertain to the above;
Romans 8:28 (NLT)
28 And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.
Romans 9: 14-20, 22-24 (NLT)
14 Are we saying, then, that God was unfair? Of course not! 15 For God said to Moses,
“I will show mercy to anyone I choose,
and I will show compassion to anyone I choose.”
16 So it is God who decides to show mercy. We can neither choose it nor work for it.
17 For the Scriptures say that God told Pharaoh, “I have appointed you for the very purpose of displaying my power in you and to spread my fame throughout the earth.”20 No, don’t say that. Who are you, a mere human being, to argue with God? Should the thing that was created say to the one who created it, “Why have you made me like this?”
22 In the same way, even though God has the right to show his anger and his power, he is very patient with those on whom his anger falls, who are destined for destruction. 23 He does this to make the riches of his glory shine even brighter on those to whom he shows mercy, who were prepared in advance for glory. 24 And we are among those whom he selected, both from the Jews and from the Gentiles.
Hebrews 12: 1-4, 6-9, 11-15, 23-24, 26-29 (NLT)
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.
2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God’s throne.
3 Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won’t become weary and give up.
4 After all, you have not yet given your lives in your struggle against sin.
6 For the Lord disciplines those he loves,
and he punishes each one he accepts as his child.”
7 As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father? 8 If God doesn’t discipline you as he does all of his children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children at all. 9 Since we respected our earthly fathers who disciplined us, shouldn’t we submit even more to the discipline of the Father of our spirits, and live forever?
11 No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it’s painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.
12 So take a new grip with your tired hands and strengthen your weak knees.
13 Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who are weak and lame will not fall but become strong.
14 Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord.
15 Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many.
23 You have come to the assembly of God’s firstborn children, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God himself, who is the judge over all things. You have come to the spirits of the righteous ones in heaven who have now been made perfect.
24 You have come to Jesus, the one who mediates the new covenant between God and people, and to the sprinkled blood, which speaks of forgiveness instead of crying out for vengeance like the blood of Abel.
26 When God spoke from Mount Sinai his voice shook the earth, but now he makes another promise: “Once again I will shake not only the earth but the heavens also.” 27 This means that all of creation will be shaken and removed, so that only unshakable things will remain.
28 Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy fear and awe. 29 For our God is a devouring fire.
Ephesians 4: 26-27 (NLT)
26 And “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 for anger gives a foothold to the devil.
James 1: 2-4 (NKJV)
2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
Matthew 5: 4-11 (NLT)
4 God blesses those who mourn,
for they will be comforted.
5 God blesses those who are humble,
for they will inherit the whole earth.
6 God blesses those who hunger and thirst for justice,
for they will be satisfied.
7 God blesses those who are merciful,
for they will be shown mercy.
8 God blesses those whose hearts are pure,
for they will see God.
9 God blesses those who work for peace,
for they will be called the children of God.
10 God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right,
for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
11 “God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. 12 Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way.