Persecution is coming? Are you ready?!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Persevere

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Genesis 37:4 And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him.
John 15:25 But this cometh to pass, that the word might be fulfilled that is written in their law, They hated me without a cause.
Matthew 5:11-12 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

Being hated without cause is an aspect of Messianic prophecy that applies to both Mashiach ben Yosef and Mashiach ben David. Just as Joseph was hated by his brothers, and David was hated by Saul without cause, is it any wonder that Yeshua (Jesus) was hated by the world without cause — thus fulfilling a Messianic Psalm. [Psalm 69:4 ]. And should it surprise us that He is still hated? And if Yeshua was hated without a cause, should we expect our lives be to any different?

As thousands of saints suffered intense persecution in ages past, and thousands are still being persecuted today (126,000 martyrs last year alone), they prepare(d) the way for the salvation of millions of others. Since Yeshua said "Greater love hath no man than this that he lay down his life for his friends", the love expressed by the martyrs is a tremendous source of inspiration to all of us.

As we are rapidly approaching the end of the age, we can expect persecution to be on the rise. We're sent out as sheep among wolves – so lift your head high when suffering persecution for the Lord. Your response of faith and love could well lead to the salvation of the ones persecuting you!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Persevere

Keep Going — Don't Stop!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Persevere

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Hebrews 12:1-2 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

In the Greek olympic games of old, a unique race was run. The winner was not the runner who finished first — it was the runner who finished with his torch still lit!

There are times in our lives when we feel like we just can't continue in the race. These are precisely the times when the enemy loves to assault us to the point of breaking and torment us saying "You'll never make it to the finish line, you may as well just quit now". This is the time we need to cling on to God's promises! The Lord will soon reward our diligence for all our toiling here in this world. Paul said, "Let us not grow weary in well doing for in due season we shall reap if we do not faint".

Let's allow God's wonderful promises to strengthen and comfort us in each circumstance so that we can run the race — not to finish first, but to run together, side by side — the flame of our torch reaching the finish line blazing brightly with fire for Him!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Persevere

Prepare for Battle!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Persevere

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Ephesians 6:10-12 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

It ought to be obvious to all of us believers that we are in a spiritual war that is taking place all over the earth — and that we are called to fight in this battle. In the world's armies, soldiers are not sent into battle before receiving many months of serious training. They need to get physically in shape first and then to learn how to handle different wartime situations and tactics of the enemy.

For us, the moment we are saved, the Lord begins our training for the ongoing spiritual battle in this world. It begins with learning to trust Him for protection as young believers, and progresses through many phases even to the place where we may enter strenuous wrestling with principalities and powers, as the apostle Paul describes in these verses.

Are you struggling in your walk with God? If so, realize that He is training you. Born into war, you are both protected and also necessarily engaged in the battle. Thank God for His protection and His preparation. We need both as we mature and become more involved and useful soldiers for Him against the diverse strategies and tactics of the enemy.

The Lord's weapons are spiritual; they include a knowledge of the scriptures, the anointing of the Holy Spirit which increases with a devoted prayer life, the courage which comes only with deep trust, and His divine wisdom which reveals His strategy for our present situation.

Realizing that we are in a battle, we ought to reflect on and discover where our weaknesses are. We may already be aware of some of them, but the Lord will show us if we ask Him for more insight. Our part is to cooperate with His development and sharpening of our spiritual weapons. If we cooperate with Him He will always lead us in triumph. Our present trial is the battleground for our next victory.

So, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. With His armor you will stand, and with His weapons you will win.

 

Worthy Christian Devotions » Persevere

Let your mourning be turned to Joy!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Persevere

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

Psalms 37:23-24 The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delighteth in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the LORD upholdeth him with his hand.

Failure is never a pleasant feeling. It isn’t enjoyable to lose a job, see a relationship falter, or fail a test. But the disappointment we feel when we face defeat can be turned to joy if we look at it the right way!

Thomas Edison was busy working in his laboratory at 2 o’clock one morning when an assistant came into the room and noticed that the inventor was smiling broadly.

“Have you solved the problem?” he asked. “No,” replied Edison, “that experiment didn’t work at all. Now I can start over again.” Edison could have such a confident attitude because he knew that the road to success is often paved with disappointments that serve to extend the road — not to block it. Each failure brought him a little closer to success.

Living a life of victory is not about being perfect — because we are human — and will always make mistakes. The key is learning how to get up after we have fallen. It’s natural to make mistakes — but it’s supernatural to learn from those mistakes and move forward!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Persevere

Never Surrender!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Persevere

by George Whitten, Editor of Worthy Devotions

1 Corinthians 15:57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

In the 1940's, the world fought against the greatest evil it had ever seen, Adolf Hitler and his terrible regime. In the midst of this war, Winston Churchill said, "We shall not flag or fail. We shall go on to the end. We shall fight in France, we shall fight on the seas and oceans, we shall fight with growing confidence and growing strength in the air, we shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender."

U.S. President Franklin D. Roosevelt said, "The only thing we have to fear — is fear itself!"

The United States and England stood bold in the face of evil and in time prevailed! But it took resolve, it took fortitude, and tremendous perseverance in the face of evil to finally achieve this great victory!

The enemy of our souls, satan, knows his time is short and he is unleashing unprecedented war against the saints throughout the world. But we too must resolve to stand face to face against our enemy and claim the victory we already have in the Lord!

Each of us is suffering trials and tribulations today. Stand firm! Let’s recognize the truth that the victory is already ours — and walk in it! Greater is He that is in us, than he that is in the world!

Worthy Christian Devotions » Persevere