O! Lord, God of heaven and earth. Thank You for another day in this part of eternity, we are grateful to You alone. Teach us o! Lord to number our day’s right, may we not be carried away with the vanities of this world to forget that we are on transit here. May Your Name alone be praised, Amen!
We want to look at the body of Christ, Called “Church” and “Christianity” as a faith, its challenges and the way forward. Recently, the body of Christ has been under severe attacks by the kingdom of darkness, what are we to do as Christians? Are we to fight back? Let us find out in message below. click here to blessed the needy among you.
“The myrtle trees that were in the bottom.” Zechariah 1:8
The vision in this chapter describes the condition of Israel in Zechariah’s day; but being interpreted in its aspect towards us, it describes the Church of God as we find it now in the world. The Church is compared to a myrtle grove flourishing in a valley. It is hidden, unobserved, secreted; courting no honour and attracting no observation from the careless gazer. The Church, like her head, has a glory, but it is concealed from carnal eyes, for the time of her breaking forth in all her splendour is not yet come.
The idea of tranquil security is also suggested to us: for the myrtle grove in the valley is still and calm, while the storm sweeps over the mountain summits. Tempests spend their force upon the craggy peaks of the Alps, but down yonder where flows the stream which maketh glad the city of our God, the myrtles flourish by the still waters, all unshaken by the impetuous wind.
How great is the inward tranquility of God’s Church! Even when opposed and persecuted, she has a peace which the world gives not, and which, therefore, it cannot take away: the peace of God which passeth all understanding keeps the hearts and minds of God’s people. Does not the metaphor forcibly picture the peaceful, perpetual growth of the saints? The myrtle sheds not her leaves, she is always green; and the Church in her worst time still hath a blessed verdure of grace about her; nay, she has sometimes exhibited most verdure when her winter has been sharpest. She has prospered most when her adversities have been most severe.
Hence the text hints at victory. The myrtle is the emblem of peace, and a significant token of triumph. The brows of conquerors were bound with myrtle and with laurel; and is not the Church ever victorious? Is not every Christian more than a conqueror through Him that loved him? Living in peace, do not the saints fall asleep in the arms of victory?
As difficult and painful it might be to the body of Christ with all the happenings around, we, the children of God have to exhibit the characteristics of the myrtle – ever green even in the midst of winter. There are circumstances in life that are quite painful, difficult and demanding to deal with, do we need to give up in such a situation? No, our hope should always be on Him. The text below explained it further:
The Suffering Of The Saints
Suffering, it seems, is a daily occurrence among God’s people: Health problems, persecution, financial stress, etc., etc. How are we to understand it? How are we to cope? In studying 1 Peter, I discovered eleven ways we are to respond to suffering:
1. Rejoice, recognizing your faith is being tested and purified — “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials… Your faith… may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed… “ (1:6-8)
2. Do not retaliate against your tormentors — “When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats.“ (2:23)
3. Follow Christ’s example in entrusting yourself to God — “Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.“ (2:23b)
4. Do not be afraid — “Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened.“ (3:14b)
5. Follow Christ’s example in suffering for doing good — “It is better, if it is God‘s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit,“ (3:17, 18)
6. Adopt Christ’s attitude toward suffering —”Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because he who has suffered in his body is done with sin.“ (4:1)
7. Rather than being surprised, rejoice in the fact that you are participating in Christ’s suffering — “Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.“ (4:12, 13)
8. Be unashamed in your suffering and association with Christ —”If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name.“ (4:15, 16)
9. Amidst the suffering, commit yourself to God, and continue to do good — “So then, those who suffer according to God‘s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good. ( 4:19)
10.Resist Satan, recognizing that other believers are also suffering at his hand — “Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings.“ (5:9, 10)
11.Anticipate His restoration — “And the God of all grace… after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.“ (5:10)
Beloved, are you passing through any of such a challenging period in life, please remember that He loves you, this is your assurance in Christ, the battle is not yours but God; He knows what to do. He might seems slow to your expectations but the right time is with Him, He will never be late.
He promised protection over His children. Are you one of them? If not, click here and give your life to Christ and then you come in the household of Faith to enjoy all that belong to the children.
this is our welfare month, don’t forget the poor among you (Prov 19:17)
See you next week by His grace.
Remain blessed in the Lord.
Evang. Ifeoma Ohondu