Verse, Meditation & Song 29 May 2020
Matthew 24:9 NKJV
 "Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name's sake.
Dear Brothers and Sisters. This verse and its context got me thinking about suffering in general. God is able to remove all suffering. Why doesn't he?
This is not a light subject. I have struggled to be brief, for around every scripture I share, I would have loved to include the entire chapter. Nor to I share this from a position of confidence, but rather am well aware of my own weakness and fears. But God's word is for edification and encouragement and I share the best I can. God says of himself through his servant:
Lamentations 3:31-33 KJV
 But though he cause grief, yet will he have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies.  For he doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men.
So why, "if he was bruised for our transgressions" (Isaiah 53), does God allow suffering and persecution for his people, when He has no desire to see suffering on anyone? I consider Hebrews Chapter 12 pivotal to our understanding of the role of suffering and persecution, and especially in these very last days. Here are just some verses: Hebrews 12:2-6 NKJV
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 has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.  You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin.  And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: “My son, do not despise the chastening of the LORD, Nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him;  For whom the LORD loves He chastens, And scourges every son whom He receives.”
Hebrews 12:8 NKJV
But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons.
Paul points to our acceptance of the discipline of human Fathers, even in their weakness. Why would we not expect God to chastise His sons? He will indeed move us, by His discipline that we may walk in His ways. If he did not we would likely end up hurting others more and more, as we see the world doing, right? Over the years, I myself have seen how much discipline I have needed and may still need! It is not just a positional righteousness that God is after. He is interested in our character more than our comfort, as I heard preached when I was young. If that were not so, there would be no need for judgement of even the wicked, as some bible teachers falsely claim to be true. However how we live does matter to God and our willingness to submit to that process of discipline and growth is what makes us continue as a child of God and grow mature. The alternative is a reprobate, rebellious, illegitimate son, who is in danger of hell, if unrepentant. There is hope for the prodigal and repentant, but not for those who refuse correction to the point of rejecting the saviour or living in continued sin. So if you do not want to be scourged, then be obedient to God's commands and walk in His ways, and you will be rewarded, for afterwards it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness.
Hebrews 12:10-11 NKJV
For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness.  Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
Jeremiah 30:15 KJV
Why criest thou for thine affliction? thy sorrow is incurable for the multitude of thine iniquity: because thy sins were increased, I have done these things unto thee.
1 Peter 3:10-14,13 NKJV
For “He who would loves life and would see good days, Let him refrain his tongue from evil, And his lips from speaking deceit.  Let him turn away from evil and do good; Let him seek peace and pursue it.  For the eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their prayers; But the face of the LORD is against those who do evil.”  And who is he who will harm you if you become followers of what is good?
Our Father's eyes are on the righteous. They have his face and not his back. When they cry out, He will saves them.
But there is another kind of suffering. As our focus verse states: YOU WILL BE HATED BY ALL NATIONS FOR MY SAKE.
 But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. “And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled.” .....
 For it is better, if it is the will of God, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.
PERSECUTION - SUFFERING FOR RIGHTEOUSNESS SAKE
But yes, if and only if it is His will, you may suffer for righteousness sake that others may be saved. Be strong and courageous then, and worry not at the threats of the evil doers, because nothing will happen without His will. Pilate had no power over Yeshua, as he himself told Pilate.
"You could have no power at all against Me unless it had been given you from above. Therefor the one who delivered me to you has the greater sin." John 19:11 Yeshua, however, was willing to do his Father's will, or He could have called on legions of angels, who would have rescued him.
We need to have the same attitude that he had. God's will be done. For many have become saved, as they observed the righteous suffering of the saints. Even we ourselves, have had greater confidence, knowing that the early martyrs did not die for a lie. They must have believed that He rose from the dead, because they were willing to die for what they believed and it has benefitted our faith. Thanks be to God for them. So when faced with persecution we need to pray for His heart and strength to stand in the evil day. And we best be praying before such a dark day.
LET UP PRAY Heavenly Father and Yeshua our Saviour and our King, we come into your presence with thanksgiving, as we always should, and we bless you for your mercy, goodness and justice. None of us what to suffer and so we thank you that you do not easily bring pain to the children of men, let alone to your own new creation children. But when you do allow us to suffer we thank you that we can trust your judgement, that there is no other way. Help us to be be patient and seek your face and repent quickly that we may yield the peaceable fruit of righteousness.
When it comes to persecution, give us a sound mind to know that you who hold the universe in the breath of your hand and never slumber or sleep, are in control and have power to save us. Father, you would have saved Yeshua, had there been any other way to save us. And we are so grateful for all that you as father and son endured, in order to save us. There is no greater name or love than that which you have shown in Yeshua. Now we pray, that if you require any of us to demonstrate patience, or even give our lives for the salvation of others, that you will give us your grace, love and power so we can stand strong and be a testimony of your life and the hope that is within us. Fill us with your Spirit to this end. But you have also said,
Jeremiah 30:7 KJV
Alas! for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob's trouble; but he shall be saved out of it. At that time, you also said that you are with us, and we should not fear, for "even though you correct us in justice", "Jacob would return and be quiet and none shall make him afraid". You also speak of Jacob returning to the land, and so pray that you will open a way that all the tribes may find a way to do this. You have also said to the church of Philadelphia: Revelation 3:10 NKJV
Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth.
And Yeshua you said: Luke 21:36 KJV
Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.
So we pray that you will have mercy on us and on our children and draw all to yourself, leading us in paths of righteousness. Help us to persevere through sufferings, that we may be counted worthy to escape the trials that are coming upon the whole world. In the name of Yeshua Amen.
Please listen to this song, which, by the Spirit, grew out of this meditation.
I would love you to leave a comment below to start a fellowship conversation. We all have something to offer and the body grows when every joint supplies what is needed for the body. Bring a scripture, a thought or whatever you think relates. Thanks for spending time here.
May the love, peace and joy of Yeshua and the fellowship of HIs Spirit and of His people, be with you forever....