Take up the Cross

The increase in spiritual attacks against Christ and the church will continue to get worse until the end of time. Jesus said, “take up your cross and follow me!”

Jesus went to the cross to remove the wrath of God against those who believeĀ and trust in Him. His followers are called to sacrifice ALL if necessary to win eternal life.

None of us is smart enough, or strong enough, to defend ourselves against the evil angels who are plotting our misery and death. Only Christ is our defense and He will give us the strength to endure.

The good news is that those who suffer the most for Christ on earth will have the greatest rewards in heaven. This is why we are called to consider it joy when we face hardship:

“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matthew 5: 11-12, NIV).

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything” (James 1:2-4).

The key is to trust fully in Christ. He will always give us the strength to endure the trials and tribulations of life. We cannot rely on our own strength, we should never question the wisdom of God, and we should constantly remind ourselves that God will never give us more than we can bear. No one said it would be easy or that it wouldn’t hurt. But we have the promise of victory if we remain focused on Jesus and the price He paid for our salvation.

We should thank God that Christians in the United States have had it relatively easier than Christians have it in other parts of the world. Christians in the world today have it much easier than many have had it in the past. This is all about to change.

The devil will attack us mentally, physically, and emotionally. However we are called to resist the devil by drawing closer to our savior who suffered more than any other human being at the hands of the devil and of evil men. Our only defense is to resist the devil and to draw closer to God in Bible study and prayer:

“Submit therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you” (James 4:7-8).

Trust in God! Focus = Focus on Christ’s Ultimate Sacrifice. The wisdom of Christ–the peace and power of the Gospel–will allow us to turn adversity into triumph.

~Stephen Beagles