THE SERVANT GENERAL
LESSONS FROM LAMENTATIONS
PROPHETS AND PERSECUTION
role of CFC-FFL in the world today is prophetic. That means
that we speak on behalf of God, that we take on His mind and
heart, and that we confront a world that is in sin and seek
to bring it to repentance and faith. It is doing the very
work of God, being His very mouthpiece, reflecting His very
image, and bringing His light to a world in darkness.
darkness and light are contradictory. The meeting of the two
cannot stand the light. It exposes sin. In fact, “the
light came into the world, but people preferred darkness to
light, because their works were evil.” (Jn 3:19). As
such, those who prefer darkness can be expected to oppose
those who bring light. The prophets that God sent were persecuted
and executed. Then God sent light itself, His very own Son
Jesus who was the light of the world (Jn 8:12). But the people
extinguished that light by crucifying him.
At times, persecution might come even from our own brethren.
This is what we experienced in the crisis in CFC, and such
persecution continues even up to now. Why does this happen?
There are indeed those, even those who are supposedly in
the Lord, who still cannot accept truth and the light. We
were persecuted because of our prophetic actions.We spoke
about the veering away from our authentic calling, but there
were those who persisted on pushing their hidden agenda.
averred that all had sinned, but there were those who claimed
to be sinless.
called on the top leadership to let go of power and position,
but there were those who clung to these even more.
exhorted brethren to go into lamentations mode, but there
were those who mocked this and impatiently proceeded with
their own human priorities.
looked to obeying the hierarchy that was helping us, but
there were those who insisted on legalities and followed
their own human will.
So persecution of prophets is a reality.
reflection in “40 Days of Lamentations” for today
is very relevant. It is worth revisiting, as we now do.
Persecution as a Gift
love you, Lord, my strength,
Lord, my rock, my fortress, my deliverer,
My God, my rock of refuge,
my shield, my saving horn, my stronghold!”
readings are all about those who are persecutedfrom Jeremiah,
to David, to Jesus. People who stand up for God can expect
to be persecutedthose who are prophets, those who govern
God’s people, those who do the very work of God. Prophets
are persecuted by those who do not want to hear the truth
God has to say to them. Governors are persecuted by those
who disagree with the way they pastor the community and by
those who want to take their place. Those who do God’s
work are persecuted by those who oppose God and who are aligned
with the enemy.
was persecuted even by his friends. David was persecuted even
by his king. Jesus was persecuted even by his own people,
the very people of God, the ones whom God had entered into
So you who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, you
are in good company. Know that you are blessed, for the kingdom
of heaven is yours (Mt 5:10). You who are insulted and slandered
because of Christ, “rejoice and be glad, for your reward
will be great in heaven. Thus they persecuted the prophets
who were before you.” (Mt 5:11-12). This is the overturning
of the wisdom of the world. Those who suffer are blessed.
Those who ought to be sad and miserable are those who should
rejoice. This is because God will turn your seeming defeat
into victory, whether here or hereafter.
that “the Lord is with (you), like a mighty champion”
(Jer 20:11). Just entrust your cause to Him, and then sing
and praise the Lord (Jer 20:12-13). Know that the Lord is
your strength, your rock, your fortress, your deliverer, your
refuge, your shield, your saving horn, your stronghold (Ps
18:2-3). God is all these, so what more do you need! Even
when surrounded by the breakers of death, by the menacing
floods, by the tightening cords of Sheol, by the snares of
death, all you need do is call out to the Lord, and He will
hear your cry from heaven (Ps 18:5-7).
In this world we can expect troubles, pain and even persecution,
but we can always look to God for our deliverance. This
is what covenant is all about.
such, we need never fear. In fact, we rejoice in all circumstances.
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I shall say it again: rejoice!
Your kindness should be known to all. The Lord is near. Have
no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition,
with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the
peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your
hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” (Phil 4:4)
you can always say: “Praised be the Lord, I exclaim!
I have been delivered from my enemies.” (Ps 18:4).
you catch the title of that day? It is “Persecution
as a Gift”!
since when did persecution become a gift? It is indeed a gift,
if it is allowed by God, in order to fulfill His divine purposes.
What purposes are those? It is purification for holiness.
It is the privilege of allowing God’s instrument to
follow in His footsteps to the cross and to be “crucified”
with him. It is training and empowerment to be effective for
mission. It is to deepen trust in God’s divine mercy.
Remember that we are being used as God’s instruments.
As such, we are into raging spiritual warfare. Satan will
throw everything he has against God’s prophets. He can
even use our own brethren to afflict us.
must know the fate of prophets. We must be willing to endure
for the sake of Christ. We must persevere, knowing God is
working out His divine plan in our lives, and using us to
touch the lives of others.
In this Lenten season, I again bring you to another one of
the many lessons of Lamentations (from Forty Days of Lamentations).
245 – Willingness to suffer
“I gave my back to those who beat me, my cheeks
to those who plucked my beard; my face I did not shield from
buffets and spitting.” (Is 50:6)
When we evangelize, we encounter the enemy. The evil one will
not want to let go of his dominion over the lives of people.
Those who belong to the enemy camp will not cede ground and
will fight us with full force. Those who are in bondage to
darkness will not welcome and will even resent being presented
with the gospel, for it becomes an indictment on their way
of life and their choices in life.
we can be persecuted. No, we will be persecuted. We must then
be willing to suffer for Christ. “For your sake I bear
insult, shame covers my face.” (Ps 69:8). We must realize
that it is then that we are truly blessed and our reward will
be great in heaven (Mt 5:10-12).
when we suffer for the gospel, we can rejoice. The buffets
and spitting will be our badge of honor. We would have gone
the way of Christ, that of the cross.
* * *
did you catch that last part? When we suffer for the gospel,
we can rejoice!
No wonder Jesus spoke that way about prophets. In his sermon
on the mount, Jesus warned his people about being persecuted
for the sake of righteousness. He said that “they persecuted
the prophets who were before you.” (Mt 5:12c). But Jesus
called those so persecuted as blessed! “Blessed are
you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every
kind of evil against you falsely because of me.” (Mt
we are blessed, then we can “rejoice and be glad”
(Mt 5:12a). We are filled with joy, for our “reward
will be great in heaven” (Mt 5:12b).
We are merely pilgrims in this life, just passing through,
with the goal of making our way to heaven. While here, we
serve God, and He enlists us as prophets. As prophets we can
expect to be persecuted. As we are persecuted, we are blessed.
The ultimate blessing is precisely our very goalmaking
it to heaven.
are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Mt 5:10).
The way of Jesus is the way of the cross. We say that we are
centered on Christ, that we keep our eyes fixed on Jesus.
If that is so, then everything now has fallen into place.
Jesus himself has shown us the way. “For the sake of
the joy that lay before him he endured the cross, despising
its shame” (Heb 12:2b).
privilege and joy is to follow in Jesus’ footsteps.
All the way to heaven.
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from Lamentations - Part 2 [PDF]