|Count it All Joy|
Our Bible Study at Open Door Church began with the words, “Be ready to give a good answer with a pure conscience. I took notes and present here an edited lesson for your encouragement.
Jesus had told his disciples to expect to suffer persecution and be hated as He was. The disciple is not above his master. If they called Jesus a devil, how much more will they treat you.
Hebrews 5:11, reminds us that people in general are dull of hearing and it is hard for them to receive truth.
Our teacher asked us to process what Peter was saying here;
1 Peter 3:16 Having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ, may be put to shame.
We have control over our choices and God has given us a free will. When we are criticized, let us keep control of our words and continue our good conduct as an example of a Christian. Remember that the world cannot take away our joy.
Yes there are times we suffer because of our own decisions, some bad and other times good choices. Choosing Christ may bring criticism from those who were once your friend. Be careful not to think we will be free from problems.
James 1:2-5 Count it all joy, my brethren, when you fall into manifold temptation; knowing that the proving of your faith works patience and endurance.
Let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and entire, lacking in nothing. But if any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and censures not, and it shall be given to him.
Allow a trial to become a learning experience and let patience have its perfect work. When you suffer, take time to praise God, not for the trial, but because Jesus is WITH you through the difficult time.
Our decisions have the potential to effect many - many others. There is a ripple effect that flows out to family and friends.
Hebrews 2:9-13 reminds us that Jesus suffered death and was crowned with glory. He was the first person to be resurrected with His new eternal life body. We can safely put our trust in Christ.
Our teacher told how she was selected for Jury Duty, and was asked very difficult questions. Could she be fair according to the law if the law differed from what she believed? It was needful to separate the terrible happening to the family and the children from the accused. Their choice affected all these people including those asked to sit on the jury. The entire matter was emotionally disturbing to our teacher.
How do we deal with those things and the evil around us? We can’t cope at times.
Go deeper and realize we are called to stand in the Gap and to give an answer according to God’s Word. Will your belief have an effect on your judgment of another person?
Those who follow Satan, Wicca and Paganism beliefs are worshiping the devil.
It is difficult to face an adverse culture so different that we could hardly imagine and expect us not to cringe at being asked not to judge them.
As Christians we are called to be light in this dark world, even when presented with these cultures of Spiritual darkness.
We have to understand their struggle, and use wisdom and good judgment as we call on the Holy Spirit to guide us.
We can and must walk with Jesus, and share the Hope of our calling to a dying world.