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Persecution and Trouble (3 of 3)
Ecclesiastes 7:8-9; Matthew 5:3-13, 5:44-48, 21:42-44; Luke 6:29-36; John 15:19-20; Romans 8:28-29; 1 Timothy 5:20-22; Hebrews 12:14-15
Dealing with people will always be a difficult challenge. God has given us the responsibility to become the bridge builders. Human nature causes us to look at each situation from a selfish perspective. We will always feel wronged if we are in the short end of any given problem. The advantage we have as Christians is that we can step back from our desire to have it our own way and look at a problem with an eternal perspective. We can ask ourselves how this fits into the big picture? We can look beyond the conflict and to the end result. Ecclesiastes 7 explains:
8 The end of a thing is better than its beginning; the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.
9 Do not hasten in your spirit to be angry, for anger rests in the bosom of fools.
How many times have we heard and ourselves said that the issue is not a big deal, it's the principle of the matter? In truth we are fighting for pride, but calling it principle. However, the biblical approach goes against human nature. God tells us that patience is better than pride and holding onto anger makes us into fools. If we can look toward the end, we can see the meaninglessness of 'fighting for the principle'. The hard part is removing ourselves emotionally and determining if we truly are standing on principles based on God's word or if we are fighting for our own way. In this study, we will look at our responsibility and then we will look at enduring persecution and trouble.
Blessed are the peacemakers
At the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus taught the following in Matthew 5:
3 "Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for rig ...
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