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Trusting God amid suffering and persecution

Oscar Amaechina
Courtesy of Oscar Amaechina

Many are probably wondering where God is in all that is happening to Christians all over the world. Sometimes it looks as if the devil is having an upper hand. Many of God's people are faced with challenging situations these days, and the devil does seem like he’s gaining the upper hand.

It is indeed difficult to trust and believe God in times of persecution. Many whose hearts are not strongly rooted in Christ fall away when they cannot see the saving hands of God. How do you persuade a woman whose husband and only son were brutally murdered to continue to trust God for deliverance? How do you convince survivors of a Christian community whose inhabitants are attacked, killed, wounded, and displaced that all things work together for the good to those who love God? However, understanding God’s Word will help us to stand firm and trust Him even in the most terrible situations. 

Christians’ trust deficit can be attributed to a lack of knowledge of the ways of God. We are oftentimes discouraged because things refuse to work out as we expect. A critical examination of the Scriptures shows that God does not apply formula in relating with His children. He delivered Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, and He delivered Daniel, but He did not deliver His only begotten son from the hands of His murderers. At times, He remains quiet for reasons best known to Him alone. No mortal has the right to question God, but we should understand that whatever situation that He allows to happen to us must surely end in His glory

Many of the situations that Christians are presently facing today, especially in Nigeria, are like that of Christ, John the Baptist, and Stephen. If Christ went through suffering, pain, and agonizing death to fulfill His ministry and save humanity, are Christians expected to pass through less unpleasant situations if we are truly His? Understanding that God sometimes allows His children to suffer for a purpose, will help us to weather any storm. As the Word says, “And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them" (Romans 8:28). Trusting God even when we do not have reasons is a sure way of expressing our Christian faith and maturity.

As unpopular as it might sound, God is not under obligation to solve all our problems, heal all our diseases, and deliver us from all attacks and persecutions. “So it is God who decides to show mercy. We can neither choose it nor work for it” (Romans 9:16). The will of God should not be subservient to the will of man. Even Jesus allowed the will of God to be done in His life. He wanted to avoid the Calvary experience, but submitted to the will of God. His shout of “Eli, Eli Lama Sabachthani!” did not in any way diminish the trust that He had on the Father. Even when His flesh was weak, His spirit was willing to go to the cross.

Trusting and obeying God in all circumstances is a sure way to find joy and glorify Jesus. Passing through challenges and difficulties in total submission to the will of God is encouraging and strengthening. Ever since I have come to understand this Biblical truth, my life has never been the same. God has given me sufficient grace to trust Him in the worst situations.

Our negative thoughts, our sorrows when our loved ones are killed, unfavorable government policies that work against our Christian freedom, and political marginalization, should not weigh us down. Rather we should count it all joy that we are found worthy to be partakers of Christ's suffering. We should be strengthened with the understanding that these present-day attacks and persecutions can’t be compared with the glory that will be revealed when Christ returns.

Oscar Amaechina is the president of Afri-Mission and Evangelism Network, Abuja, Nigeria. His calling is to take the gospel to where no one has neither preached nor heard about Jesus. He is the author of the book Mystery Of The Cross Revealed.  

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