Have you ever wondered what should be your right response to your persecutors? Do you wonder what Christ would do in your position? The good news is that you don't need to guess the answer, Christ in the scriptures mentioned what your response to persecutors should be. He also lived examples for you to follow. This article aims at helping you discover Christ's response to persecutors.
But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you - Matthew 5:44 (NKJV)
So he answered and said to me: "This is the word of the Lord to Zerubbabel: 'Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,' Says the Lord of hosts - Zechariah 4:6 (NKJV)
Many people face persecutors often if not daily and they are getting weary of them; they are wondering what should be the right response to them without disobeying God. The scriptures say that you should look unto Jesus the author and finisher of your faith - Hebrews 12:2. Follow His steps and you will not miss it at all.
Jesus had so many persecutors while on earth and even now, but he had one response to them. And that was to pray for them. What! Yes, Christ said that you should pray for those that spitefully use you and persecute you - Matthew 5:44 and He also showed you examples to follow.
For instance, at Gethsemane, when the soldiers came to arrest Jesus, following the order of His persecutors, He didn't support one of His disciples who struck off the ear of a servant of the high priest, instead He rebuked him. He told him that if He wanted He could have asked His Father to give Him more than twelve legions of angels to take care of His enemies - Matthew 26:51-53. After all the angels excel in strength (Psalm 103:20) and when the devil and his angels fought them in heaven, they prevailed not and were thrown out of heaven, never to return there again (Revelations 12:7-8).
The climax of Christ's response to His persecutors came when He prayed for them on the cross. Instead of calling down fire to devour His enemies, He asked God to forgive them; that they didn't know what they were doing!
Why would Jesus respond like that?
This is because it is not the will of the Father that anyone should perish, but that all should come to repentance - 2 Peter 3:9. Besides, the highest they can do is to kill the body, but if they don't repent, there is God in heaven who will both destroy their bodies and souls in hell - Matthew 10:28
How possible is it to follow this Christ's response?
Jesus never gives you an instruction that is impossible for you to obey, for His yoke is easy to bear and His burden is light - Matthew 11:30. Furthermore, God will not allow you to be tempted above what you are able; but will with the temptation also make a way of escape so that you will be able to bear it - 1 Corinthians 10:13.
In addition, you can do all things, including praying for your persecutors, through Christ who strengthens you - Philippians 4:13. Also, it is actually not by your might or your power but by the help of the Holy Spirit.
Example of a disciple that followed Christ's instruction
A good example to mention is the man called Stephen. He was persecuted to the point of death, instead of cursing them, he prayed for them like his master Jesus. Before giving up the ghost, he asked God not to charge them with the sin - Acts 7:60. Even Paul in Romans 12:14 taught that you should bless those who persecute you.
For how long would they persecute?
Love suffers long (1 Corinthians 13:4), but I can assure you that there is a limit to their oppression. Your duty is to pray that they repent and that God would bless them. How God would do it is God's own decision to take. Also, you can ask God to deliver you from them. God certainly will avenge His own children, who cry day and night to him, though He may bear long with them - Luke 18:7
A typical case is what happened to King Herod. In Acts 12, King Herod rose up and harassed some from the church. He killed James, the brother of John and picked on Peter as his next victim. However, the disciples started praying to God to deliver Peter from King Herod's hand. God answered them and miraculously delivered Peter.
Then God finally judged the king when he failed to give Him all the glory. An angel of the Lord struck him, and he was eaten by worms and died.
Jesus is love and stands for love. Christ for love suffered long that men may be saved. God the father, also for love gave His only son that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have everlasting life - John 3:16. Love says bless those that curse you, and pray for those who persecute you. And when you do this, God surely will deliver you from their hands. And if they choose not to repent, they will receive God's wrath upon them.
Ngozi Nwoke is a teacher, counselor and author of "Peace Money Can't Buy" and "The Man Jesus" . She has a passion to teach people how to enjoy peace, God's love and christian living for more fulfilling life. Want more fulfilling life? Subscribe for free email updates today. http://stepswithgod.co
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