CICM MOMENT: ” …Now I don’t know about you, but the first time I felt the Lord nudging me to rejoice in the midst of trials, I felt…

“Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy” (1 Peter 4:12-13 KJV). Now I don’t know about you, but the first time I felt the Lord nudging me to rejoice in the midst of trials, I felt a little angry. I mean, with my mind I knew that I had to obey the Word of God, but I felt at the time that I could not rejoice. It seemed impossible to rise above the hurt feelings, loneliness and the other emotions that were trying to run the show. How could God expect me to rejoice in the midst of this barrage of difficulties, betrayals and disappointments? At the time, I really did not understand what was going on, but I decided to obey the Lord. I did not know that He was teaching me to wage a good warfare. I did not know that God was teaching me how to fight back against the forces of darkness that were trying to overshadow my soul. But as I obeyed and began to hum a little, and then to sing and then to dance before the Lord, I felt the actual power of praise for myself for the first time. As I continued to study the Word of God, I began to realize that what I was going through was really not strange, but that persecution is the norm for some seasons in the life of a Christian. Persecution for righteousness is real. It actually happens to everyday Christians. When the people whom you thought would help you and comfort you are looking down at you, ignoring you, misunderstanding you, talking about you, abandoning you, etc., it is time to exercise your faith and really invite the Comforter, the Holy Spirit to take His proper place in your life. If you keep listening to your “friends” the enemy will try to convince you that you are something other than a Blood-washed, justified-by-faith child of God, who is entitled to the grace of God! Don’t fall for satan’s tactics. Jesus never snubbed people who needed deliverance, but well-meaning Christians sometimes will. Just forgive people. They know not what they do. They said Jesus had a devil. They called Paul names. They threw Joseph in the pit, and his troubles didn’t stop for a long time. You gotta compare yourself to the people in the Bible if you want to get where God is taking you. Well-meaning religious folks will have you questioning your own righteousness if you don’t keep your eyes on the Lord. You have to apply the Bible to your life. You cannot compare yourself to people around you. If God says it is not strange to go through a variety of trials (James 1:1-3), well then that means that your unusually prolonged season of difficulties is not strange. The devil fights Christians. Focus on the Bible when you go through stuff. Rejoice in the Lord and accept His point of view. He is trying to help you to die to yourself, so that He can manifest His glorious Presence in your life. You must learn to reject rejection, and you cannot reject it until you look at the people in the Bible. According to your friends, all of the people in the Bible were unfit for anything. But Jesus chose you in spite of your weaknesses. That is why the devil is cutting up. He wants you to doubt yourself and to doubt God. I exhort you, brother or sister, to reject the rejection of others, so that the power of God can manifest fully in your life. Be Encouraged! God Can Undo It!!

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