Filipino Expat Encouragement RL084

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Through faith, we have continual access to God’s power as we attempt to handle whatever life may bring to us. Don’t misunderstand me to say that God protects Christians in the sense of insulating them from all the potentially bad experiences human beings can know. That isn’t true; and that isn’t God’s perfect will for His children.

God’s protection of His people means that divine power is available to us in such a way that we have sufficient stamina and courage to be God’s children in any and all circumstances. There’s a big difference between saying that God will be with us, making divine resources available to us, and saying that God shields us from situations. Protection in this context means that God gives us strength to be God’s people in spite of any temptation or evil that may come to us.

This protection is not a deliverance from suffering, grief, and pain. God does not inflict these upon us; however, they are the realities of living as human beings in an imperfect world. God will not forsake us when these times come; we have God with us as we walk through the dark valleys, and this is an essential part of Christian hope.

Peter wrote this in a time during which Christians certainly suffered because of their commitment to Christ. There were different levels of punishment inflicted upon the faithful, including death. When 1 Peter was written, suffering for the faith meant having your life threatened if you publicly confessed Jesus Christ as Lord. Christians in that time were often faced with a dilemma, a life-and-death dilemma. All people could be required by law to bow down before the statue of the emperor (probably Domitian) and say, “Caesar is Lord.” It was not uncommon for the emperors to make divine statues for themselves. Most had not insisted upon a universal acknowledgement of this deification; however Domitian was an exception. He referred to himself as dominus et deus, lord and god. To make such a statement as “Caesar is Lord,” would be to deny Christ as Lord, yet the penalty for refusing to worship the emperor was often death. Should the Christians say it and not mean it, or refuse and leave one less Christian in the world?

This is something we need to consider today, very seriously, as we see things turning against those with Christian values more and more frequently. It is obvious that history is beginning to repeat itself with the ultimate outcome soon upon the horizon. This is all the more reason to cling to Christian hope.

To Be Continued

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Unless otherwise noted, Scripture taken from the New King James Version®, NKJV © 1982 by Thomas Nelson.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.

About Roland Ledoux

Pastor of Oasis Bible Ministry, an outreach ministry of teaching, encouragement and intercessory prayer from the Holy Bible, the written Word of God and author of the ministry website, For The Love of God. He lives in Delta, Colorado with his beautiful wife of 50+ years and a beautiful yellow lab whom they affectionately call Bella.
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