A Rightful Reaction

by Carolyn Hope

I have told you these things so that you won’t abandon your faith. For you will be expelled from the synagogues, and the time is coming when those who kill you will think they are doing a holy service for God. (John 16:2)

Just before this passage, Jesus told the disciples how the world would hate and persecute them. He forewarned them so that when the hard times came, they would not falter in their faith. His words proved true. The disciples and the early church suffered much persecution for their faith, but they clung to it. They did not give up. They were so utterly sold out to Jesus that they submitted to even the most horrific tortures and deaths. Peter was crucified upside down; John was boiled in oil; Paul was stoned. Early Christians were thrown into lions’ dens and gladiator arenas. Later Christians were burnt at stake as martyrs.

I believe that the reason these strong men, women, and children could endure such trials was not only their determination but, more importantly, their surrender. They could have reacted in anger, defiance, or rebellion. Certainly, they had ample reason to feel justified in revolting against their persecutors; but that’s not what they chose. When tribulation came, the sons and daughters of the King reacted in surrender.

Regardless of your situation, surrender is the right position. That’s not to say that you let people and life’s troubles walk all over you; you are not a doormat. However, your response to everything that comes your way should be radical surrender to Jesus. What does He think? What does He say? What is He wanting to do in and through you? Search for the answers to these questions; you’ll find them in His Word and in His heart. Determine to do what He says is right. Submit yourself to Him, and let your life be one of full and total surrender.

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