Commit your work to the Lord and your plans will be established. Proverbs 16:3
To commit one’s works to the Lord does not mean to relinquish all responsibility and to “let the Lord take care of it.” One’s works are his own works. Committing them to the Lord would mean that such works are given over to God as He is the Maker and Master of man and his life.
The establishment of plans, as a result of committing one’s works to the Lord, also means that there is an exchange, prayer, communication between man and God. It is a process of “committing” and then the plans are the “feedback” from God. But these plans are now established.
Often, we don’t fully commit our works to the Lord because we want to keep control. Then things do not go so well. In our human pride we feel that it is us who know best how our works should be performed. However, if we humbly say to God: “Lord, these are my works. Do what you have to with them!” then His intervention, in response to our humility, will make our plans stand. Our work will have a direction, shaped in heaven.
It is a relationship in which we must acknowledge that without God we would be able to do nothing of value, even if activities abound.
“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
This verse is part of the Lord’s teaching known as the Beatitudes. It is an encouragement to those who are under an oppressive, unjust, and cruel treatment because of their faith in Jesus.
Without such a great promise — to be blessed for being subject of persecution — one would ask himself “Why am I suffering? Is it in vain?” But the words of Jesus are a promise that standing for the righteousness of God in this world has a great reward — the kingdom of heaven. In God’s kingdom eternal righteousness and justice reign. Those persecuted on earth will inherit this kingdom — it is theirs, it is their home, their inheritance. Those formerly mistreated for being citizen of this eternal kingdom will now live in it, they will be its rulers.
Standing with righteousness against the unrighteous, and paying a price has a great reward in waiting.
A second notion is that wherever there is a kingdom there is a system of justice. The justice of the eternal kingdom of God is founded on the just and eternal God. The suffering of those who stood for the name of God and His Son, under the persecution of the wicked kingdoms of this world, will be redeemed with the reward of heaven. For those who are faithful justice will mean their sacrifice will be their badge of honor before the King of kings.
“Nobody should be persecuted because of their faith,” says Robin David, the ADF International allied lawyer defending the pastors in court. “In India, many citizens face fierce harassment because they belong to a religious minority.”
These Christian pastors in India are being persecuted not because they are a minority but because they are Christians. While “nobody should be persecuted for their religious belief” may be a nice sentiment, the reality is that persecution occurs on a daily basis. In fact, anti-Christian irrational hatred and the resulting persecution is amply talked about and predicted in the Lord’s teachings and throughout the New Testament.
It is right and proper for us to support each other as believers and stand up against persecution and the injustice it represents. The NT teaching that Christians must be ready to embrace suffering for the name of the Lord does not constitute a surrender to the claims of evil without opposition on our side. Jesus suffered ultimately but He never stopped to assert His divine right to be recognized as the Son of God, the Son of Man, and the Savior of the world. We see the same example through the lives of the apostles and the martyrs of the faith.
Being subject to persecution should never be seen as a reason for Christians to approve of persecution, even if they gladly embrace it as a sign of their loyalty to Christ.
A British theologian challenges the teaching in the church that evangelism, when wrongly understood as simply adding souls to the ecclesiastical structures and congregations, is an adequate representation of the mission of God in Jesus Christ.