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In this episode, you’ll discover… 

  • Why being hounded for your religious or political beliefs means you’re on the path God designed for you (4:02) 
  • How sprinting towards adversity, attacks, and hate evaporates your fears while avoiding them only amplifies your angst (4:46) 
  • Why you will be persecuted for your beliefs (and 3 ways to deal with it without sabotaging your relationship with God) (7:30) 
  • The case for rejoicing when you’re being persecuted (especially when you feel defeated, angry, and helpless) (9:29) 
  • How blessing and praying for those who curse you instantly boosts your happiness (11:37) 
  • Why appearing weak when you’re being attacked deepens your faith (15:00)

If you’d like a sneak peek at my soon-to-be-released book, Set Free: A Woman’s Guide to Clarity, Freedom, & God’s Endless Love, you can download the first 5 pages here: https://courses.jillallencoaching.com/f/setfree-sneakpeek

If you’re ready to rise up and become the best version of yourself, check out the 12-month mindset and accountability experience that will help you rise up here: https://befitandfierce.com/justbreath 

If you have zero energy to focus on yourself and need extra support and accountability from women who know what it’s like to juggle a crazy busy life, then go to https://befitandfierce.com and become unstoppable with us. 

Or, if you want to join a sisterhood dedicated to growing our faith, join our Just Breathe Facebook Group.


Read Full Transcript

Hi there. I'm Jill Allen and this is find your fierce, the show designed for women to discover your fierce, unlock and unstoppable mindset. Build unbreakable courage and completely transform how you show up every single day. Each week I will bring ideas, methods and strategies that will inspire you to step into your greatness and live life on purpose. Let's be fit, fierce and unstoppable.

(00:34): Hey there, gang welcome to find your fierce, love that you're with us again. Or if this is your first time joining us, I welcome you either way. We are just glad that you're here today before diving in. I have to thank you for all your love and support. Appreciate all your feedback, your reviews. And I love that you share this podcast with your friends. So if you can keep on doing that, it helps reach more women and it impacts more lives and it is certainly a team effort. So thank you. And thank you. And thank you. So we are continuing to dive into the book that has been in the works for years. It's been a crazy journey, a long time coming, but in God's perfect timing, and it's almost ready to release. It's called set free a woman's guide to clarity, freedom, and God's endless love. And I shared last week, if you did not plug in last week, be sure to do that.

(01:28): But I shared that it was placed on my heart to just talk about my story, but like many of us, our dreams and the visions we have, or the call on our life, it gets ignored or it gets put on the back burner and we get caught up in the chaos and we hang on to the past, or we may believe for whatever reason that pushing and striving and stressing out is the way to live. And as a result, we are held back from showing up as who we have been created to be. And so I want to expand on that a little bit this week, that there may be more to it than just getting caught up in the chaos. And I kept hearing the word persecution. So I got to ask you, do you ever feel persecuted, oppressed, bashed, taunted, mistreated, maybe even afflicted.

(02:15): I mean, let me give you the definition of persecution first. Okay. So it's the act of persecuting, the state of being persecuted, a program or campaign, and I'm going to even add a person to exterminate drive away or to make people submissive based on their membership and a religious, ethnic, social or racial group. So now I think you can be persecuted for any belief, any action or for any affiliation. Unfortunately, that is somewhat common. That is what's common in the world we live in today, but I kept hearing persecution as in get ready, it's coming. And maybe it's the fear of man creeping in the intimidation that persecution throws at us to make us quiet, to be silenced our voices for it, to be shut down, to make us question our beliefs, or maybe not our beliefs, but whether we will even share what God places on our hearts.

(03:11): And as it's getting closer and closer to the release date of set free, there's some emotion to this as I step out and to be completely honest, persecution could easily take me out of the game. And that's the goal. That's the goal of persecution. If someone would backstab or gossip about me or attack my message of set free at one point in my life, it could have taken me down. That was the entry point to get me to doubt question or forget who I truly was to shut down our testimony. And I can bet we've all been on the receiving end of an attack as well as the one who attacks. And I want you to think back to a time or a moment, maybe a belief, you have a religious belief or a political belief, you know, have you been persecuted? Have you been the attacker?

(03:58): And I want to encourage you to stand firm in your faith when we step out and maybe you are feeling the call to step out right now, is there something within you in your heart, deep down that little voice whispering to you to take that first step. I want you to know that we will be attacked in some way, and it's meant to take you out, take you down, keep you down. When people say evil things about you, false things, I encourage you do not fear glorify God and do not waste your energy, avoiding it or fighting it. And, and I w I want you to keep your eye on your message on your call. And when that fear tries to creep in, this is what I do. I go back to why I began the set free journey. I want you to go back to your mission, put your blinders on and move forward.

(04:43): And here's the thing to even drive it home a little bit more. Okay. There is nothing more certain than the fact that we will face adversity, that we will face persecution. It's not, if it is when and yet we try so hard to avoid it, to stay clear from it, go into hiding that we choose to stay stuck or quiet or not live out. God's call on our life for the fear of what others think. Fear of the attacks, fear of ridicule. And I think of our just Brie sisterhood, our group on Facebook. Okay. If you guys, I invite you to join us in that group, it's absolutely amazing. The women are so good, but I think back to my faith journey and my walk with the Lord, and I've been guilty of that separating my faith. Maybe I can post this over here, say this on the podcast, but I can't say it in this circle.

(05:33): Maybe I stay quiet in this group. Talk freely over here, pray with this crowd, but not on my personal page. You get what I'm saying that, and I'm sure that maybe you can even relate like as if we compartmentalize our life and our beliefs because of the fear of persecution. As if we shut down who we really are not showing up as who the Lord is calling us to be in one or more areas of her. And that is what persecution does or that's what the fear of persecution does. And some of it, we get, okay, the challenges we face, where it's not a personal thing, thinking we were riding her bike. I envisioned like riding on the bike on the beach. Okay. And the wind is in our face and you're just peddling really, really hard. Right. It impacts our ride. If we go against it, it slows us down.

(06:22): The wind is the attacker and we naturally get that right. It's common sense. We can accept it. Or what about when we set a fitness goal, a health goal, and then all of a sudden we're surrounded by her favorite foods, maybe at the workplace. I mean, do you really think your coworkers are personally attacking you? Probably not odds are we still recognize it as a natural thing. That is part of life that we will probably have tons of opportunities to blow it, that it just happens and we can still move on. We can still move forward with our goals. What is harder to deal with is when we face personal opposition to the things that we value in the decisions we make, that's why so many people get so fired up. Why there's so much division. You know, sometimes this opposition is a good thing because if we made a bad decision and those that love us are trying to help us see more clearly that you know, what we want to do may be harmful to others or to ourselves and such godly opposition hopefully comes in the form of honest disagreement without efforts to either control or punish us.

(07:29): So that's a good thing. But other times, the opposition we face is more of this aggressive kind, right? That involves this, a person, or maybe a group going out of their way to pursue us, to push us, to change or to punish us for not doing something. And this falls into the category of persecution. Something that literally means to be pursued or chased. And in second Timothy three 12, okay. God's word says that all godly people will be persecuted. Guys. It flat out says it will happen. The only way to get out of it is to not live in a godly way. And even then we're going to feel hounded by the consequences of our sins. Ouch. Okay. So if persecution is part of life and of a faithful believer, then how are we supposed to deal with it? And this is what I want to share with you today.

(08:20): I'm going to share three things with you that may help. So number one, commit to shining your light, no matter what shine, your light, your light, your calling, your purpose, your mission on your life. It matters. You matter. Your voice is meant to be heard. You are here for a purpose on purpose. And some of you may need to hear that today. So I'm going to say it again. You matter in Matthew five 14 through 16, it says your lives light up the world. Let others see your light from a distance for how can you hide a city that stands on a Hilltop and who would light a lamp and then hide it in an obscure place. Instead it's place where everyone in the house can benefit from its light. So don't hide your light, let it shine brightly before others. So that the commendable things you do will shine as light upon them.

(09:07): And then they will give their praise to your father in heaven. Isn't that what life's about anyway, making a difference impacting lives, no matter how big or small, just showing up with our eyes on our Lord and then carrying it out to the world one day at a time, the light you carry matters. Number two, rejoice. Seriously. I you're probably thinking seriously, Joe, you want me to rejoice? I'm being attacked and you want me to rejoice? Yes. And so I want us to head back to Matthew. I think Matthew five, nine through 12, how joyful you are when you make peace for, then you will be recognized as a true child of God. How enriched you are when you bear the wounds of being persecuted of doing what is right for what is when you experienced the real of heaven's kingdom. And it goes on with how ecstatic you can be when people insult you and persecute you and speak all kinds of cruel lies about you because of your love for me.

(10:05): So leap for joy since your heavenly reward is great for you or being rejected the same way the profits were before you. So rejoice be glad. And I looked up the antonyms of persecution, guys, this is no joke. The antonyms of persecution is joy and happiness. I can't make it up like this is so real. Okay? So Jesus calls them blessed who are persecuted for being and doing rightly. And then it's basically saying, it's implying that if you are not righteous, you can expect persecution without being blessed, without being blessed. Guys, if we have to choose, let's choose the one with the blessing with it. We're going to be persecuted no matter what. So choose to be persecuted because we follow the Lord. And so going back to the fear of persecution that tried to sneak into my mind, but the set free book release, I will rejoice.

(10:56): I will rejoice when persecution comes my way, as I know the message, my testimony and what God is asking me to do, which is share it with all of you. I will rejoice and be thrilled. And of course, I'm going to go back to number one. We're going to keep shining our light. Number three, love your enemies. I heard that the first time. And I was like, what? I was like a little kid dragging my heels the entire way, but I don't want to. And in Matthew five 44, Jesus gives us a very definite way of being with those who persecute us. But I tell you love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. And so to expand a little deeper into that verse, it says your ancestors have also been taught, love your neighbors and hate the one who hates you. However I say to you, love your enemy.

(11:46): Bless the one who curses you do something wonderful for the one who hates you and respond to the very ones who persecute you by praying for them for that will reveal your identity as children of your heavenly father. That's going to reveal our identity guys. He is kind all by bringing the sunshine to warm and the rainfall to refresh whether a person does, what is good or evil, what reward do you deserve if you only love the lovable? How are you any different from others? If you limit your kindness only to your friends. Okay, so fine. We're going to pray for them. We'll pray for retaliation or God's judgment on them or for them to fall into a big hole. I'm just kidding. I'm just kidding. It is tough. It's like, how can we do that? And life gives us plenty of opportunities to get sucked in the trials and distorts our visions and hearts.

(12:40): Yet. We're supposed to learn to endure persecution without retaliating. When it comes to following the Lord and learning to do so is a clear indicator and demonstration that we believe that God has it, not us, that we are the ones that are faithful. And I bet some of you are still thinking that if you can just have a little revenge or if they fall in maybe just a small hole, right, then all is going to be good because we play the victim that we are justified. It was unfair. They told lies. They heard us, we felt pain. We felt attacked that we were attacked, but we can't fall into that trap where we become so offended that we allow the bitterness and the anger and the resentment to take hold. I want to share a passage from step free. This is coming straight from the book.

(13:28): Getting offended is a natural byproduct of being upset, but that's not what God wants. That's not how he wants us to treat others or feel about others. He doesn't want us to fall for that instant gratification of offense without forethought. After all we're called first and foremost, to treat others with kindness and compassion before any misgivings, doubt or fear ever enters the picture. You have heard that it was said eye for eye and tooth for tooth. But I tell you do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them, the other cheek. And if anyone wants to Sue you and take your shirt, hand over your coat as well, that was Matthew five 30, eight through 40. Before I knew my identity in Christ, surrendering and turning the other cheek felt weak and feeling weak doesn't feel good.

(14:20): And it wasn't something I wanted to look like or feel since it wasn't the norm nor encouraged or praised by our cultural standards. Do you blame me? Maybe you can relate. We have been taught to hold our own to not be taken advantage of, to take control of our lives. We keep playing the broken record of deceit and mistreatment. We repeatedly blame ourselves for loss. Vindication and validation is proof that we were wronged. We empower the root of veterans to gain a stronghold in our hearts where love and forgiveness should live instead. But as I said, I had this problem before I knew my identity in Christ and what I needed to truly focus on. And it certainly wasn't the rejection, negativity or betrayal of others that led me to Christ. I am here to tell you that there's something better than fighting back and taking offense.

(15:06): Our faith increases in him by turning the other cheek and blessing our enemies. Our faith has increased in him. I get it. That faith doesn't feel natural or even right. It doesn't make sense most of the time. It sounds crazy. But imagine the greater good there is something better. Revenge. Your resentment doesn't heal the heart playing hard ball. Doesn't fix things. We've all heard that two wrongs don't make a right guys. This is, that was just a glimpse. That was just a glimpse of my friends, of what we dive into in the book. But I wanted to lay on the plane here today. Persecution is inevitable, especially when living your life for the Lord. So now just knowing that we can keep shining. Our light can take the leap of faith and living out the call that God has on your life. We don't have to be afraid or intimidated by others.

(15:54): God's going to take care of it all. And I would rather fear the Lord than the people of this world. And at the end of my life, I want to be able to stand there and say that I changed lives, lead people to Jesus and love like you, Lord. I got to ask you, what about you shine your light and then rejoice be joyful. When persecuted, you are blessed for living your life for the Lord and to love people. And of course that includes loving your enemies as hard and challenging that it is when persecuted love them anyway. And we dive into all of that and we're going to unpack so much more in what I cannot wait to share with you in my book, set free. And if you've ever felt like something was missing, either within yourself or in your life as if there's this void that you can't define, and yet can't escape, even trying to find your purpose.

(16:39): And sometimes you even question whether you have one, I'm going to help answer those questions and share how I discovered the way to show up as the woman you want to be. But the woman God designed and created you to be, and I'm going to share with you some of my darkest struggles in the moments, and it's going to trace my path to where I am today. I will give you every step I took along the journey that led me to God's unconditional love so that you can take these exact steps to freedom and enjoy his peace too. And I pray that you realize that with God, you can overcome anything. I invite you to take a sneak peek of set free and joined the set free book club, go to Jill Allen coaching.com. Or you can find the link in our just brief Facebook group. And it is set to release in may. Also, you were being called a rise. I want to invite you to the just free sisterhood, a 12 month mindset and accountability experience rooted in biblical truth for Christian women like you, who are ready to rise up. So head on over to be fit and fierce.com forward slash just breathe heads up on the next episode, I am going to continue to set free journey. Come back next week, as we unpack a little more.

(17:42): Thanks so much for joining us today. Please subscribe, share this episode, link on your social media. If you felt encouraged or inspired, as we all know someone that can benefit, I would love it. If you would give some feedback and a review as well, talk with you next time. Be fit, be fierce, be unstoppable.

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