By Muoka Lazarus
II Timothy 3:10-12 “But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what per-secutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me. Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.”
Brethren, one important thing we must assimilate is that Chr-istianity is all about persecut-ion and endurance. Anybody who is not ready to endure the tough long leap that ends in heaven is not qualified to be called a believer. The way to heaven is pent up, narrow and difficult, and all who aspire to make it must undergo its tort-uous journey. The Scripture says categorically that everyone who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus and expect to be in heaven at the end of this life will be persecuted. And the more closely we cleave to god-ly life the more the persecution.
From the time of his conversion till the time of writing to Timo-thy, Apostle Paul knew no pe-ace for it was from one perse-cution to another. His offence was nothing but that he prof-essed Christ.
Thus, having given account of his own experience, he pro-claimed that all believers who desire to live holily should not expect to escape persecution. By enduring persecution, you are aligning yourself with the early disciples and even our Master Jesus Christ who end-ured persecution on the Cross.
Enduring the challenges of life and maintaining godliness till the end is an exercise of divine grace which is the best eviden-ce of our being made partakers of the divine nature.
Any believer who does not live in the exercise of such grace, is spiritually has not seen the great end and design of the div-idend of Christianity.
Deuteronomy 8:1-4 “All the commandments which I co-mmand thee this day shall ye observe to do, that ye may live, and multiply, and go in and po-ssess the land which the Lord sware unto your fathers. And thou shalt remember all the way which the Lord thy God led thee these 40 years in the wilder-ness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his command-ments, or no. And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hun-ger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live. Thy raiment wax-ed not old upon thee, neither did thy foot swell, these 40 years.”
The Israelis were in the wilder-ness for 40 years undergoing trials and spiritual assessment under the supervision of God so that they would be humbled and tested to see if they would manifest negative character. The wilderness or trial exercise for a believer is meant to hum-ble that believer and bring out the needed quality of God from him/her so that he/she will learn only to depend on Christ. This is what God want from us, so, we should not run away from trials and afflictions because God allows it. We should rather understand that trials and affliction humble believers and make them to arrive at their final destination which is heaven.
If you are resting now you are wasting your time as long as you have not entered the final rest there is no rest for you. There is no point for us to relax now because when we cross over we shall rest forever.