Joy and tears go together as we want to live a Godly life, as Paul says in 2Timothy 3:12, “Everyone who wants to live a Godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.”
Godly life in Christ Jesus comes with a cost that involves disciplined life and sacrificial obedience. Obedience is better than sacrifices but sacrificial obedience is what the Lord has called us for. Sacrificial obedience may range from getting up early in the morning to spend time with the Lord, to using spiritual weapons to bind every imagination and thought that rise against the knowledge of God. Obedience is not easy but with persistent efforts it brings renewed strength that enables us to lead Godly life.
An undisciplined life begins with just one episode of careless disobedience that stretches itself into intentional resistance to the work of the Lord. How important it is to keep a watch on where we are going as Paul says in Eph. 5:21, “Watch your step.”
A soldier doesn’t get mixed up with the civilian affairs but keep himself focused on his mission likewise those who want to live a Godly life with Jesus need to keep their minds and eyes focused on Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. One slip here and there might invite the raging waves of storms of disobedience into our lives.
An obedient life doesn’t bring an assurance of a life free from persecution or troubles. In fact the verse above says just the opposite that “those who want to live a Godly life will be persecuted.”
Why should one be motivated to live an obedient life if all it brings is persecution? What benefits are there for us? tremendous!
The persecution that follows obedience doesn’t necessarily come from outside. Our carnal mind perpetually fights against the authority of God and tries to elevate itself by not submitting to most high God. Mind that is filled with conflicting thoughts lives in constant persecution by deliberately ignoring God-given talents and spiritual fervour. Persecution begins when one knows what to do but chooses to go just the opposite. Paul depicts it beautifully in Romans 7 when he says that “I delight in God’s law but I see another law at work in the embers of my body.” An obedient child of God deals with persecution every day. But those who have been trained by the word of God reap the harvest in the form of righteousness, a renewed mind and a strengthened reliance on the word of God.
Persecution does make us weak but at the end we come out much stronger with a powerful faith that doesn’t just rest on the written word but on the life changing power that lies beneath the word.
God’s promises are easy to believe when things go right but hard when nothing seems moving despite heartfelt prayers. How difficult it is to trust when no sign of fulfillment of prayers appears for a long time. Those who focus on the word during hard times know that the word acts as the bread of life, sustaining the believer’s soul by fulfilling the spiritual need at the moment of desperation. The word becomes alive in the life of the believer by burning the conflicting desires of mind thus making peace in the members of the body so that the believer may offer perfect praise to the living God.
No persecution is dark enough to hide the rays of the glory of the living God that shines at the end. Day and night follow an order and so does persecution and deliverance. Although night seems to be longer for some of us, lasting not just for days or months but for years. Be encouraged my friend, the deliverance is as sure as the coming of the dawn, those who sow with tears will reap with songs of joy (psalm126:5).