THE MARKS OF JESUS
By Carolyn Dale Newell
From now on let no one trouble me,
For I bear in my body the marks of the Lord Jesus.
Gal. 6:17 (NKJV)
Beatings, stoning, shipwreck? Most of us have not suffered these things for serving Christ. Rejection, broken relationships, and job loss are the more common types of persecution that we face today. The key to all of this is our attitude. Do we endure the marks of Christ with joy and contentment?
The Apostle Paul certainly suffered for the cause of Christ. A list of his sufferings is in 2 Corinthians 11:23b-28: “labors more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequently, in deaths often. From the Jews five times I received forty stripes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods; once I was stoned; three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I have been in the deep; in journeys often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils of my own countrymen, in perils of the Gentiles, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; in weariness and toil, in sleeplessness often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness- besides the other things…”
All this suffering and yet he wrote that we should rejoice always and be anxious for nothing. He also said that he had learned to be content in any state (Phil. 4:4, 6, 10, 11).
I have not suffered as Paul did, but we can look to Paul as a shining example of one trusting in God’s sovereignty and power.
Persecution towards Christians is increasing. I pray that the Lord will come before we have to suffer as Paul did. Whether imprisonment or stoning, we must face persecution with the faith of Paul, for when there is faith, there is no fear.
Help us face persecution with the spirit of Paul. With contentment and rejoicing, and without fear. We trust You, and we count it a privilege to suffer for You. Increase our faith so that our fears will not exist. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Read Phil. 4:4-13. Paul penned this from prison.
HIKING THE TRAIL
What types of persecution have you faced? Pray, asking God to increase your trust in Him so you will not continue in fear and anxiety.
Copyright 2015 Carolyn Dale Newell.