Count it all joy

persecution

Jesus said “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” Matthew 5:11

As Christians we have to always be cautious when we address criticism and critique from non- believers.  I know first-hand how easy it is to become defensive and hurt when you hear and see others challenge and insult your belief system.  If you truly believe what the word says there is no reason to feel discouraged.

When Peter and his disciples entered Jerusalem to evangelize after the persecution of Jesus they were not only insulted but thrown and jail and flogged. Not only did they receive verbal insults but they suffered physical torture all because they believed in Jesus Christ as our lord and savior. Instead of reacting to this persecution they did something very different than what was expected. “Then the apostles left Sanhedrin REJOICING because they had had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the name” Acts we get upset when people partake in cyber bullying and sarcasm.

When I read that verse I stopped dead in my tracks and asked God that I always think of any persecution that befalls me in that way. People that have the most to say about Christians are oftentimes confused or curious about our belief system. This is the reason why apologetics is so important because your reaction may be the difference between winning another person over for Christ or encouraging and enforcing stereotypes or otherwise taking part in arguments that are not only counterproductive but a misrepresentation of Christ and exactly the opposite of what you are supposed to do.

Christian persecution is not something that happened a long time ago and is no longer going on; Currently in 2016 there are Christians in North Korea, Iraq, Eritrea, Afghanistan, Somalia, Sudan and all over the world that are being beaten and killed all because they believe in Christ as our lord and savior.  I could only imagine if I had half the courage and strength that these people have. To praise and worship and serve God to the very death. To worship and revere him no matter the consequences.

I charge you men and women of God to never get into another argument about your faith no matter if you are on social media or with the people in your own household. I challenge you to submerge yourself in your belief, to seek the truth in all things and to find the answer to questions that may be asked of you so that you follow your word. Its written “But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.” 1st Peter 3:15 now go be fishers of men!

Somebody ought to give him thanks.

~cici

Overcoming a Spiritual Attack

warriour

We all have had those days, where it’s one thing after another. Murphy’s Law is everything that can go wrong will, right?

Wrong!

You just may be under a spiritual attack. The weapons of warfare are not carnal. “We do not battle against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers.” Ephesians 6:12. Here are some things you can do while you are under attack;

“Put on the whole armor of God that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil”

Read Gods word! Sometimes the answer that you need may be somewhere in scripture and often times he will lead you to the specific scripture that you need.

The book of Ephesians speaks many times on how to cover yourself from daily spiritual attack.

Stand firm with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, the breast plate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that come from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this take up the SHIELD OF FAITH with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one and take on the helmet of salvation and the sword of the spirit which is the word of
God.” Ephesians 6:10-17

Repent, sometimes you need to ask God to reveal to you any behavior past or present that would allow an open door to an attack. Sometimes a fast and consecration is in order just make sure that you only tell who it’s absolutely necessary to tell (fast in secret) so that you don’t receive your reward in full. What that means is that announcing that you are fasting can be a source of bragging or boasting. When you do that the whole purpose of the fast is taken away because God wants you to be humble.

One of my favorite defenses against a spiritual attack is complete and total praise. I cannot emphasize this to you enough; praise will bind, confuse and break the enemy. Your deliverance and healing is in your praise. When you praise God, you are focusing on him and letting it be known that you are not worried about a specific circumstance. You know that our heavenly father will get his glory out of it.

Many times we worry and stress ourselves out over things that God is already handling in the background. Jesus said “do not be anxious for tomorrow because tomorrow has enough anxiety on its own and by worrying are you able to allow one extra minute to your life?” God does not want you to doubt. You can find scriptures similar to  be not afraid 365 times in the bible. That’s a clear indication that he wants you to put your trust in him and operate your faith every single day.  By worrying you are allowing fear and doubt into your life and god has not given us the spirit of fear, but of love, power and a sound mind. Worrying puts limitations on an all-powerful and limitless God.

Remember that the race is not given to the swift nor the strong, but the one who endures to the end.

Somebody ought to thank him

-Cici

Forgiveness Reloaded

 

Forgiveness

Yes we have spoken on this topic before but I felt the need to come back and speak on it again

From a different standpoint. Let’s talk about forgiving those people that hurt you that don’t know or don’t care enough to apologize, let’s speak on the hurt and pain of betrayal. Even Jesus felt hurt from his closest of friends Judas betrayed him with a kiss.

So how do we deal with individuals that hurt us?

The first step is to have compassion for that person. Yes in order to move forward from the hurt and disappointment you must try to see life from their perspective. What motivates people to do the things they do. It’s safe to say the people that hurt you the most are suffering from some type of internal battle; as the saying goes: Hurt people, Hurt people.

Once you begin to see that individuals are fighting their own struggle the next step would be to remember how truly blessed and favored you are by God.  Sometimes the person that hurts you may just feel inadequate or want something you have. Even if it is simply internal peace. You may not think you have much but sit back and really think about where you came from.  Often times, we start to internalize the hurt and pain we might feel from other people and it distracts us, we go over in our heads how we can get back at them, not speaking to them or how to hurt them back (the hurt cycle continues).

 

I too have been caught up in the throes of unforgiveness, waiting on apologies I will never receive, preparing on what I would say or do at our next encounter. That sinking feeling in your chest. Waking up with ill feelings instead of thanking or father for another day. I had to recognize that at the very least this is an attack from the enemy. This distraction will not only block your blessings, but consume your time and energy where it could be put to better use. Mark 11:25 ”

Here’s another valid point; how many times have you hurt others both intentionally and unintentionally. And how many times have you done things you weren’t proud of.  How many times have we asked for forgiveness for the things we have done to our heavenly father. “Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgiveness the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not say angry forever but delight to show mercy. You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.” Micah 7:18-19

Even still we are forgiven time and time again. And when you stand praying if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them so that your Father in heaven may forgive your sins” It feels so much better to just let the pain go and allow God to handle each situation. Remember to stay on task and keep moving forward no matter what. You cannot put a price on peace of mind so do yourself a favor and let go of that pain and hurt.

Your heart will thank you for it.

Somebody ought to tell him thanks

-Cici