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ow does the Christian behave when he is persecuted or afflicted? He continues to do all that is righteous, resisting all side attractions. Peter wrote: "So if you are suffering according to God's will, keep on doing what is right and trust yourself to the God who made you, for He will never fail you" (1 Peter 4:19).
Jesus, in His sermon on the mount said "There is a saying, "Love your friends and hate your enemies" But I say: Love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true sons of your father in heaven. -----For if ye love them, which love you, what reward have ye? Do not even the publicans the same? If ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? Do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your father, which is in heaven is perfect" (Matt 5:43-48).
How does the Christian behave when persecuted and afflicted? Paul wrote: "Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation, continuing instant in prayer" (Rom 12:12). What hope? Rejoicing in the hope of the reward, which God Himself will give on the last day, to those who endure patiently and in all that God is planning for you.
Then he (Paul), re-echoed the words of Christ: "If someone mistreats you because you are a Christian, don't curse him; pray that God will bless him----. Don't quarrel with anyone. Be at peace with everyone, just as much as possible. Dearly beloved, avenge not your selves, but rather give place unto wrath; for it is written, vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him, if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing, thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not over come of evil, but overcome evil with good" (Rom 12:14-21).
To be continued