Summary: Stand in Faith in the Midst of Suffering
Yet Still I Rise
It’s preaching time, and text as read this morning is taken from the first letter of Peter, and in your leisure please read Chapters 3, 4, & 5. Now, as I meditated on the text, the theme that the Lord had given me is… “Yet Still I Rise!” Yet Still I Rise!” Let us Pray.
As we begin our lesson today, my subject tends to fall within the arena of falling down and rising up again. For with so much going on in the world today, a question comes to mind that asks, “What advice would you give Christians about to undergo suffering or persecution? Should you turn or to run or flee? Or should they tone down their outward signs of faith and give up?
For surly you know that there are times in our lives, when we want to just throw in the towel and say forget about it. You know those times, when it seems that we don’t know which way to turn. And as believers, we undergo all kinds of persecution: being ridiculed & mocked, ignored & bypassed, abused & beaten, and some even imprisoned & murdered.
Oh but sometimes, even in the midst of the storm, we must remember, that even when we suffer for doing good, God is still expressing His goodness and might even have a blessing in store for you.
For, as told…suffering is a fact of life, and our attempts to dispute or dismiss it, is utterly foolish. The question is, “How can we bear up and be counted faithful? And, how can we be reassured that we will inherit eternal life?
For this is no new thing for us, only because suffering has been the lot of all people…including some of the greatest men & women of God. With Biblical characters too numerous to name. Oh, but one that sticks out in our minds today is our Lord & Savior Jesus Christ, who suffered the penalty for us even though we are not worthy, so that we could have fellowship with the Father. Yet, through it all, He and many others rose from their afflictions in spite of the circumstances to find victory unto death. For the Lord considered them all worthy of being His suffering servants.
But, imagine if you will, that Jesus came to you in a dream saying, “Your generation will be the final one before I return. The days ahead will be difficult, but you must keep a sense of urgency. The suffering you will experience will be great, but don’t give up…rise up and live for My return.”
As you awaken, it quickly becomes a faint memory except for one striking line, “Rise up and live for My return.” The phrase began to ring in your mind again and again as it becomes a timely comfort in a place of suffering…even for believers. For as stated, we suffer the most and from all forms of persecution at the hands of our neighbors, society, civil authorities, and sometimes from those who sit right next to us every Sunday morning.
But, how can we as believers handle and conquer suffering? Well, by rising up and living to arrange your priorities to make every day count for eternity. For, in the midst of whatever we are going through, we must learn to “trust the Lord with all our hearts and lean not to our own understanding, in all our ways acknowledge Him and He will direct our paths.”
Listen, while we may not understand how He is working, we must still have faith in His love for us. And were we not told in Isaiah 55:8, For my thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways His way, says the Lord.” Meaning that, since He is the source of all wisdom, knowledge, and understanding, we should have faith enough to trust Him for everything.
And because we can rise up even when the going gets tough, there are those who can’t understand what we’re experiencing. They say we are crazy, and losing our minds when they see us get a good shout on, Ahh but they don’t know what He’s done for me! And because we can still smile in spite of the pain and testify that He’s a Rock in a weary land!
And He sent me to tell this morning to continue to be doers of the Word as well as being hearers, and let the works you do speak for you. Just continue to rise up and stand for what the Bibles teaches, even though it might produced character assassination.
For the end of all things is at hand, and the devil wants you to feel like you will never amount to anything. He wants you to be alone serving a spirit of doubt and confusion, instead of doing the task God has called you to do. Oh’ he wants you to go through a trial, feeling like when you fall…that you will never rise up again. But all things are soon to be consummated, with Jesus Christ returning and returning He will soon. Then our sufferings will end and we will be freed from all the trials of this corruptible and evil world. So we rise knowing the consummation of our faith is soon to take place.