As we talked about in part 1 of this post, persecution will come. It’s inevitable. Preaching the good news of Christ to a world that has rejected it is bound to cause tension.
But what happens if we give in to the persecution? What happens if we dip our toes in the water?
What happens if we stray from God?
Before you continue reading, I want you to ask yourself a few questions. Be honest with yourself. Ready?
- Have you ever pursued something of worldly desire?
- Have you ever chosen something that was obviously a bad decision?
- Have you ever strayed from God?
I ask these questions as a demonstration that we all have done something at some point that was in the opposite direction of where God wanted us. We’ve all made mistakes. We all fall short.
But do you think that the amount of things that you’ve done wrong is too vast and overbearing for an all-powerful God?
Do you think that there isn’t anything that can be done?
First and foremost, when looking at how much that you have done in your life that stands out against God, it’s important to remember that God has the ability of taking us out of our deepest and darkest sin, and bringing us to Him and into His light.
Proverbs 3:5-6 gives us a clear and concise definition of how our paths are made straight. In essence, these 2 verses “sum up” the nature of God.
He’s simply asking you to not lean on your own understanding. Not to pursue the things of this world. Not to depend on yourself or turn from him.
He simply wants us to turn to Him in an intimate pursuit of a relationship.
Forgiveness is a free and open gift to anyone who genuinely repents.
Trust me. I too have strayed from God in my past. I pursued so many different things, and sought happiness in things that weren’t of Him.
But, by His grace, I can tell you that when I look back at it, my life now is FOREVER different by my choice to follow Him. If you would have asked me 2 years ago what I’d be doing, I never would have told you that I’d be where I’m at.
God’s plans for you are bigger than yours are for yourself.
If God is for us and we are for God, who could ever overcome us?
I absolutely love Isaiah 41:10, because it shows just how much God wants us.
He wants the absolute best for you, and has given us every ounce of His love because of His great desire to have an intimate relationship with you. His love has no bounds, no depths, and no restrictions.
His love is eternal.
Even when we stray from God, by His grace we have the ability to come back to Him and be granted forgiveness.
Take a look at Peter and how many times he denied knowing Jesus (Found in the Gospels). He denied knowing Jesus 3 different times, and Jesus even told him that the rooster wouldn’t crow until that took place.
Imagine the look between Jesus and Peter when he denied knowing Him the final time.
Imaging what must have gone through his head when that rooster crowed.
Imagine the feeling of denying the One who is about to die for you, in order to not be persecuted.
We all have sinned. We all fall short.
But, let me ask you this. How many times did Jesus ask Peter if he loved Him? (Found in the Gospels, i.e. John 21:15-17)
Jesus demonstrates here that even if we have given into persecution, even if we have strayed from God, there is always hope if we turn back to Him.
No matter what you’ve done in your life, how far you’ve strayed from God, or if you’ve given into persecution, God’s grace and mercy will always be enough to cover you if you turn back towards Him and repent.
You have the opportunity of knowing exactly what God wants for you, you simply just have to trust Him.
Don’t be afraid of persecution. Don’t be consumed with worldly standards.
Stay faithful to God, and He will guide you where He wants you.
As Paul says in Philippians,
“For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.”
Be bold as you go out. Be prepared to give a testimony to others about what God has done in your life. Don’t let fear of persecution or temptation mislead you from God’s path for you.
Blessings and Aloha,