The destiny cross
FIRST LOVE RECOVERY MINISTRIES
THE DESTINY CROSS
"Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. "
"Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. "
"Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you."
1 Peter 2:19-25(KJV)
"For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully."
"For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God."
"For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: "
"Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:"
"Who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously:"
"Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. "
"For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls."
We have already examined the challenges confronted on the 'the cloudy side' of the Christian faith in 'The precious coin'.
In the journey of destiny,as we follow Christ,we are bound to partake of his sufferings(1 Peter 3:14).
The sufferings of Christ are what make up 'the destiny cross'.
The cross of Christ signifies the climax of his sufferings for mankind to be saved from sin as portrayed in the second text above.
As followers of Christ,we ought not to avoid or despise 'the destiny cross'.
What constitutes the crises of 'the destiny cross'?
These are times when some people decide to ignore you as if you don't exist because they don't know or accept what God has called you to be.
These are times when some people decide to criticise you as if you're not good enough to do what God has called you to do.
These are times when some people decide to flatter you when they don't really accept you for who you really are in God.
These people knowingly or unknowingly make themselves the enemies of your destiny as seen in 'The heavenly vision'.
A brief study of all the four gospels of Christ in the Bible proves to us that Christ our Lord suffered all these kind of crises.
And we are not exempted from them as his followers even if we live in 'the free world'.
'The comfort zones' of life are not reserved by God for anyone who will fulfill his/her divine destiny.
Let us browse over some 'don't s' so as to demonstrate the mind of Christ when confronted by such challenges:-
*Don't be afraid of your persecutors;be bold in the Lord:-
1 Peter 3:14(KJV)
"But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled;"
*Don't be mystified about your persecution;it is a normal Christian experience:-
1 Peter 4:12(KJV)
"Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:"
*Don't be sad about your bitter experience;rejoice in the Lord:-
1 Peter 4:13(KJV)
"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."
*Don't suffer for evil doing;only suffer for well doing:-
1 Peter 4:15(KJV)
"But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evildoer, or as a busybody in other men's matters."
*Don't be ashamed about what you are going through;glory in the Lord:-
1 Peter 4:16(KJV)
"Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed; but let him glorify God on this behalf."
*Don't curse your persecutors;be a channel of God's love,goodness,and forgiveness:-
"But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;"
*Don't deny the Lord before your persecutors;faithfully confess him:-
"But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven."
Because we have the mind of Christ(1 Cor. 2:16;Philippians 2:5),we are enabled by God's grace to demonstrate positive and healthy attitudes towards our persecution and persecutors.
Remember that a persecutor of the Christian faith today may be a faithful follower tomorrow like Saul who became Paul the apostle(1 Tim.1:11-16).
We should graciously receive good criticisms (Prov.9:8b)even when they are ruthlessly delivered if not 'we'll throw away the baby with the bath tub'!
Finally for anyone who is yet to make a personal commitment to Christ:don't be put off by the candid discourse above-it's just part of the wonderful package of the Christian faith which is vital in the fulfillment of divine destiny.
When a man and a woman fall in love,we witness both their enjoyment and sufferings in the love affair;how much more when one falls in love with the Lord Jesus Christ!
Therefore don't delay your decision any further(2 Cor. 6:2)!!!
1 Peter 1:6-9(KJV)
verse 6 "Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations:"
verse 7 "That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ: "
verse 8 "Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: "
verse 9 "Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls."
About the Author
British-born Nigerian Christian writer living and working in London,UK with website:www.firstloveministries.org.uk