Are you experiencing persecution from family, friends, or church members?
Heart to Heart
       This persecution is always the hardest to bear because we expect more understanding and compassion from those closest to us, especially from our families. Be patient and look at each of your encounters as wonderful opportunities to witness and grow closer to our Lord. It is during these times when we draw closest to Him that His brilliance touches our lives and fills us with His radiant presence, dispelling darkness and giving sight to the blind, as His marvelous splendor is revealed. In time, they will see the fruits of your labor!!      Remember, we are here for one purpose—to serve God, and every moment we walk with Him serves His purpose. The trials we walk through, the persecutions we encoun­ter, the neighborhood we live in, the family we have, the people who cross our paths every day of our life, none of it is haphazard—it all is part of God’s plan. You are planting, and watering, and harvesting every day of your life while learning to depend on God.      Martha Finley expressed it perfectly in Elsie Dinsmore, “But in spite of all her trials and vexations, little Elsie was the happiest person in the family; for she had in her heart that peace which the world can neither give nor take away; that joy which the Saviour gives to His own, and no man takest from them. She constantly carried all her sorrows and troubles to Him, and the coldness and neglect of others seemed but to drive her nearer to that Heavenly Friend, until she felt that while possessed of His love, she could not be unhappy, though treated with scorn and abuse by all the world. The good are better made by ill, as odors crushed are sweeter still. And even so it seemed to be with little Elsie; her trials seemed to have only the effect of purifying and making more lovely her naturally amiable character.”      It is not hard to be happy and sweet when everything runs smoothly, but when trials and tribulations reign, one’s true character, all that is from the depths of the heart, become evident. Just as herbs and flowers when crushed emit their most potent odors, sweet or foul, so do we. “The good are better made by ill, as odors crushed are sweeter still.”      Conquer your persecutors by looking at them through God’s eyes, loving them with tenderness and kindness. Pray for them, and let God work miracles as only He can. ©