I feel called tonight to share these passages. You may find them valuable in times of great hardship.
Matthew 5:10-12 (NASB) states: “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in this same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.“
Although you may be treated carelessly by some (or feel as though you are being treated thoughtlessly), faith and trust in the Christ often grows best in times of trial. Tremendous trial.
1 Peter 2:19-24 (NASB) states: “For this finds favor, if for the sake of conscience toward God a person endures grief when suffering unjustly. For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God. For you have been called for this purpose, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you would follow in His steps, He who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth; and while being abusively insulted, He did not insult in return; while suffering, He did not threaten, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously; and He Himself brought our sins in His body up on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live for righteousness; by His wounds you were healed.“
It is difficult to find joy in these times, but I have always been especially drawn to Psalm 23:1-6 – because it does describe “…walking through the valley of the shadow of death….” This is was the first time I memorized an entire chapter of the Bible. It’s something I was still able to recall after my brain injury; it is comforting to me.
“The Lord is my shepherd,
I will not be in need.
He lets me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me beside quiet waters.
He restores my soul;
He guides me in the paths of righteousness
For the sake of His name.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
You have anointed my head with oil;
My cup overflows.
Certainly goodness and faithfulness will follow me all the days of my life,
And my dwelling will be in the house of the Lord forever.“
You may be single and solo on the battlefield; but always remember that Christ is right there alongside you in the midst of the storm. There are people at home praying daily for your safety and protection as you face danger head on. Even when you face circumstances that are not ideal or safe, the Lord’s timing is perfect and He has put you where you are for a reason – to protect those of us here at home for one. Thank you. Your sacrifice is valued. Christ has a unique purpose for each one of us – a role that is uniquely suitable for you.
Colossians 1:9-12 (NASB) states: “For this reason we also, since the day we heard about it, have not ceased praying for you and asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so that you will walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, to please Him in all respects, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all power, according to His glorious might, for the attaining of all perseverance and patience; joyously giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light.“
Just yesterday, I read Psalm 142:1-7 (NASB) and wanted to include it today. He wrote it during a time when he was in trouble and called out to the Lord for protection.
“I cry out with my voice to the Lord;
With my voice I implore the Lord for compassion.
I pour out my complaint before Him;
I declare my trouble before Him.
When my spirit felt weak within me,
You knew my path.
In the way where I walk
They have hidden a trap for me.
Look to the right and see;
For there is no one who regards me favorably;
There is no escape for me;
No one cares for my soul.
I cried out to You, Lord;
I said, “You are my refuge,
My portion in the land of the living.
Give Your attention to my cry,
For I have been brought very low;
Rescue me from my persecutors,
For they are too strong for me.
Bring my soul out of prison,
So that I may give thanks to Your name;
The righteous will surround me,
For You will look after me.”