Perseverence in the Face of Persecution

Jesus was no stranger to insult, persecution, and slanderous statements. From the night on which He was betrayed, until the moment He drew His last breath on the cross, He endured ongoing evil against Him at the hands of men. Despite the malice and maltreatment, Jesus was without sin. In fact, He sustained suffering we cannot begin to fathom at the hands of mankind, all for the sake of our sins. He chose to hang on the cross and be subject to all the anguish, so that we could have life in Him. In the throes of His affliction, He asked God to forgive them, for they knew not what they were doing. What kind of love does that?

 

“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.” – (Matthew 5:11)

 

This particular verse comes from the Sermon on the Mount, as Jesus gave some specific words of encouragement for those who would come and follow Him. Jesus himself, spoke the words about rejoicing when we are persecuted. He did not simply ask nor instruct us in these things, but rather He modeled it with His very life. Though I have not reached a point yet where I embrace even the idea of persecution, there are benefits in the process, for those who believe. Withstanding persecution takes our eyes off of earthly rewards, and instead points to the eternal; it strengthens the faith of those who endure, and those who persevere faithfully, serve as incredible witnesses.

 

Let not slander,Perseverance in the Face of Persecution

tear your heart down;

think of Jesus,

and that thorny crown.

Though He suffered,

He chose to give;

His life away,

so we might now live.

Insults were thrown,

and lies were told;

yet Jesus loved,

the Hope we can hold.

As nails were placed,

in outstretched hands;

He still chose love,

to fulfill His plan.

As skies grew dark,

and lots were cast;

the veil was torn,

and Christ breathed His last.

The best of it,

was coming soon;

for in three days,

stood the empty tomb…

 

Dear Jesus, thank You that You came. Thank You that You lived and loved and showed us what it is to walk in Your way and do the will of the Father. Thank You that You did not leave us on our own and expect us to just figure it all out, as You sent Your Holy Spirit to dwell in us, so that we have help and comfort and Your constant presence with us always. Forgive us for fearing the trials that may come our way, and grant us strength and grace to endure all things. Teach us to trust You as our source of strength and hope, even when things seem unbearable. Please grant Your peace to those who are in the midst of such suffering, and give comfort to their loved ones who are away from them. Help us to love as You love us, and may many come to know the blessed hope held in You alone. Be exalted in all that we say and do. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

I thank and praise You, O God of my fathers: You have given me wisdom and power. – Daniel 2:23

 

 

Purposefully Made

Purposefully MadePeter, yes Peter,

him who had thrice denied;

spoke boldly in truth,

Christ’s power realized.

He knew forgiveness,

clung tightly to the grace;

received God’s power,

Spirit poured in this place.

The crowd heard him speak,

his words cut to the heart;

in anguish they asked,

“How can we find fresh start?”

“In His holy Name,

be baptized and repent,

Jesus will forgive,

and His Spirit be sent.”

Many hearts did turn,

and lives forever changed;

by obedience,

of fisherman’s life claimed.

He will use us all,

if we’re willing to go;

may our hearts hear Him,

so His plans we shall know.

(Responding to Acts 2:14-41)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that so many of the men and women that are recorded as faithful followers in Your word, did not start out that way. Thank You that You show us time and time again that You take broken and sinful people who turn to You and want to serve, and use them to touch lives and transform communities. Thank You that You have created each one of us with a plan and a purpose, and have planted us where we are to invest in the people around us. Forgive us for feeling inadequate or insignificant, and help us to remember that You are our Source and Strength, and that anything good that comes out of us, is a gift from You. May Your light and love be what others clearly see, and may many come into an eternal relationship with You. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

Sorrow’s Escape

image by James Fletcher

image by James Fletcher

Sorrow seeps out,

with deep gasps for air;

solitude waits,

tempered with prayer.

Anguish erupts,

with casting of care;

gentle His touch,

as He holds us there.

Gone is the weight,

of such sorrowful snare;

burden He lifts,

removing despair.

Troubled the soul,

that knows not His care;

blessed the One,

who holds us close there.

Sing praise to God,

our Father, so fair;

who heals our hurts,

tender His repair.

“He heals the broken-hearted and binds up their wounds.” – (Psalm 147:3)

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You hold our heart and hands when the weight of our woes seem beyond what we can bear. Thank You that You do not want for us to hold them in our hands, but rather You request that we place them in Yours. Thank You that You hold us close, and provide safe space to grieve. Thank You that though mourning may last for a time, Your joy will remain forever. Forgive us for trying to be strong enough, and help us to allow You to hold us up in our weakness. Teach us to turn to You in total trust, and show us how to cast every care upon You. May our times of mourning further magnify the joy that is found in You alone. Let the hope we hold, even in the grip of grief, lead those who are looking, to Your loving care. All glory and honor to You, our Holy Healer. Amen.

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.

Shedding Silence

photo by Le Mal

There’s a deep sort of sorrow

that comes from the years,
where silence claimed constant
a keeper of tears.
Each drop of the anguish
when denied its escape,
builds into the bundle
that causes great ache.
For such sorrow kept quiet
winds into the knots,
that steal away slumber
and slowly they rot.
Bitter, or angry
distraught and denied,
forever the feelings
trapped on the inside.
What will relieve
such a cover of years?
In safety and silence
the shedding of tears?
When at last some escape
will they be denied?
Kept longer in silence
and hidden inside?
Out of the ache
and escaping of tears,
His covering comes
the Reliever of fears.
Each tear that is shed
will not fall in vain,
for He captures each one
til’ just love remains.
And He, even He –
the Savior of all,
wept in His sorrow
allowed tears to fall.
For nothing we’ve known
is not known by Him too,
His arms are extended
to embrace and renew.
Death to the silence
that keeps hurts hidden inside,
and life to the longing
that’s so long been denied.
With arms in the air
extended to Him,
just give Him the ache
the pain that’s within.
The tears yet unshed –
please give Him those too,
for who better to handle
than the One who makes new?

© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present