It is a reality in life that we will surely encounter pain. Be it through death, persecution, bullying, losing a game, a breakup or separation.
Let us look at the early Christians on how they dealt with persecution. We can learn how to turn persecutions into blessings.
Acts 8:1 tells us that a great persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem and the Christians were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria.
What did they do? God gave them a new beginning. We can see how they answered the persecution in Acts 8:4. The verse says, “Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went.”
How many times have our pains became blessings later on? Let us be clear. We do not ask that pain and persecution should come to us so that we can learn something. No. That is wrong. What is right is we reflect on what happened and give meaning to it.
I have a friend who was a drug dealer before. When he was imprisoned he met Jesus through a prison ministry. He is now pastor.
I also have a friend who shot his commanding officer. He was also imprisoned. Inside his cell he met Jesus through a prison ministry. He is now a pastor.
Both of them were my students. I asked them if they think it was God’s will that they will be imprisoned. Both of them said no. It was not God’s will. It was their own will why they were there. But they said that the grace of God will not let them go. Even inside the prison cell, God worked in and through their lives. God gave them a second chance.
This was the same with the first century Christians. They did not see it as God’s will when they were persecuted. They did not blame God. They turned their persecution as a gateway to spread the Gospel.
Be conscious with what is happening in your life. You will surely realize how God is making a new beginning in your life. Identify these pains. Surrender it to God. Pray that it will become blessings.
Rev. Francis Neil G. Jalando-on