By Elder Enoch Ofori Jnr.
The Christian life is a life of continual victory in and by Christ. 2 Cor 2:14 proclaims: “Thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ".
2 Cor. 2:14 is a text rich in imagery. To the contemporary readers of the apostle Paul, the scripture conveys an image of a Roman army in a triumphant procession with their commander at its head!
Day in, day out Christ leads us to victory. The Christian life under the leadership of Christ, the unconquered Messiah, is always victorious. The only draw-back, if we might call it so, is persecution.
In our glorious triumph, persecution ever dogs us! 2 Tim.3;12 states: "Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.”
Persecution is part of the Christian life, but even that is not all gloom. In the context of Rom 8:28's "all things work together for good", persecution, for the believer, is actually a blessing in disguise. How?
When are face persecution we manifest the unbowed invincible life of Christ that overcomes all obstacles and circumstances, however unpleasant.
The apostle Paul wrote: "We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;
"Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down but not destroyed;
”Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body” (2 Cor 4:8-10).
Writing further of his cumulative experience in Christ, the apostle Paul said; "But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, long-suffering, charity, patience,"
"Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured; but out of them all the Lord delivered me" (2 Tim. 3:10-11; Psalm 34:19).
In the midst of persecution, the Lord's victorious life comes to the fore and brings deliverance. That's why in all things (persecutions, afflictions, etc.) we are more than conquerors (Rom. 8:35-39). Nothing shall ever separate us from the love of Christ.
For His Name's sake we are hated and persecuted (John. 15: 18-21). Wherever and whenever God's power of salvation is made manifest, there one thing is assured: persecution (Acts 4:7 – 10; 17-18).
The devil hates the deliverance power of Christ’s Name that so competently destroys his evil works.
And so it happened that shortly after Pastors Amoah, Danquah and I had cast a bunch of aggressive demons out of a lady in the evening of Tuesday 30th September, 2008, the devil was so displeased he had Pastor Amoah cast into cells on a completely false charge!
The incident reminds me of a similar experience written of the Apostle Paul and Silas in Acts 16: 16-24. After driving the evil spirit of fortune telling out of a sorceress in the city of Philippi, the two ran into trouble with the law and were beaten and thrown into prison on a trumped up charge!
But that never meant the victorious life of Christ in them was gone! While in prison, they quickly activated that victorious power and deliverance soon came:
"At midnight Paul and Silas prayed and sang praises unto God and the prisoners heard them.
"And suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken and immediately all the doors were opened and every one's bonds were loosed" (vs. 25-16).
Prayer – that is the standard response to persecution recommended in scripture (Rom. 12:12.)
And so let us lift up our voice in prayer to our God for deliverance, and we shall be saved, delivered and comforted (Ps. 34:17; 50:15). Lord, let not those who wait upon thee be ashamed (Ps. 25:2). Amen!