Mark 4:17 And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended.
Having Roots in Your Life
There are some who profess salvation, yet they don’t have much root in them. They don’t tend to last very long, as a result of this. It is not long before a storm comes by and knocks them out of the service of God. It is important for a Christian to have a strong root system. A good root system keeps a tree anchored to the ground for many years. The storms of life come by and blow on the tree. They try to knock it over, but it continues to stand. The more storms the tree goes through, the deeper the roots grow. A Christian needs to continue to develop his root system. You need to be more locked in the older you get in the Lord. You need stronger convictions and more Bible reading, not less. Are you growing your roots deep as a Christian?
Affliction and Persecution Will Come
Affliction and persecution are just a part of life. It is especially true for the Christian who will live godly in Christ Jesus. People do not like godly Christians and they are going to persecute them. The real test is, “are you going to get offended.” With many, the offense is immediate. They lose it and lash out when people don’t like them or cut them down. There may be times when the man of God may preach some “hard sayings.” If you get mad at the man of God or the house of God, sooner or later, you are going to turn tail and run. You are going to leave church. What you really need to do is learn to grow some roots. The first time persecution comes, instead of getting mad, you should learn to take it, by the grace of God, and go on. Learn what God is trying to teach you and grow. Each time you do that, your root system will grow a little deeper.
A Lifetime of Endurance
What is really important is to make it to the finish line as a Christian. You want to make it to the end of life, having lived faithful to the Lord. That takes endurance. This Christian race is not a sprint, it is a marathon. Many a pilgrim who has started out on this Christian journey has endured for a little while. The problem is that they did not pace themselves. A long distance runner builds up endurance over a long period of time. He did not start out running a 26 mile marathon on his first race. That is the same for the Christian. God brings simple trials for the new Christian so he can learn to run short races first. The Lord then builds him up to handle harder and harder trials, until he develops the ability to endure affliction and persecution without being offended. Let the Lord make you into a marathon runner.
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