with the bricks others have thrown at him.–David Brinkley
This quote about being successful can also apply to Christians who desire to fulfill God’s plan for their lives. Through God’s power, we can persevere and lay a firm foundation with the bricks, insults, criticism and obstacles that others throw at us.
This is a guest post by Beth Harris. She is a wife, mother, Bible study leader and volunteer editor for markalanwilliams.net.
As a new believer nearly 30 years ago, I was not prepared for the kind of pushback and negative responses that I would receive when I shared my new faith. Yet, it shouldn’t have surprised me, because for years, I was the one who criticized, mocked, teased and ridiculed Christians before I became one.
Since then, I have had to defend my faith and the Bible many times. Although, I haven’t been persecuted like so many Christians have, I’ve felt the sting of being left out. I have experienced the pain of criticism, rejection and being misunderstood. But I’ve also discovered that defending the Christian faith has strengthened my knowledge of God’s Word and as a result, my faith has grown stronger, and for that I am grateful.
Successful or fruitful Christians want to fulfill the purpose that the Lord has for our lives, however nothing worthwhile is ever easy. Therefore, Christians shouldn’t be surprised if we face opposition; because not everyone will respond positively to us or our faith.
Christians will encounter those who insult and criticize us along the way. We may face obstacles that others put in our path. People may try to interfere and prevent us from being successful in our service for the Lord. We may even question our faith or calling as a result. Nevertheless, we should continue to follow Jesus.
God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs. “God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way.” (Matthew 5:10-12 NLT)
Christians have their share of obstacles, adversity and setbacks that threaten to defeat us. But, if we persevere, we can grow stronger as a result.
Romans 5:3-4 says, “We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation.” (NLT)
Christians need to be successful in how we react to negativity from others and respond Biblically to those who harm us. A successful Christian is one who pleases Jesus by responding with grace, love and kindness to those who want to throw bricks or cause us harm.
1 Peter 2:23 says, “He did not retaliate when he was insulted, nor threaten revenge when he suffered. He left his case in the hands of God, who always judges fairly.” (NLT)
Don’t repay evil for evil. Don’t retaliate with insults when people insult you. Instead, pay them back with a blessing. That is what God has called you to do, and he will bless you for it.”(1 Peter 3:9 NLT)
Christians are successful when they don’t retaliate or seek revenge. If we follow Jesus’ teaching, we will lay a firm foundation with the bricks that others throw at us. Our witness will bring Him glory and serve to further the Gospel as well.
The Apostle Paul was severely persecuted. He was stoned, beaten, shipwrecked, imprisoned and often went without the basic needs of food, clothing and shelter; yet he willingly endured so that others would come to know Christ.
2 Timothy 2:9-10 says, “And because I preach this Good News, I am suffering and have been chained like a criminal. But the word of God cannot be chained. So I am willing to endure anything if it will bring salvation and eternal glory in Christ Jesus to those God has chosen.”(NLT)
Are you laying a firm foundation?
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