Monday, April 11, 2016

Suffering ... Expect It ... (1 Thessalonians 2:14-16)

Today’s scripture: 1 Thessalonians 2:14-16

Have you ever suffered for the name of Jesus Christ? Have you experienced ridicule or persecution? Rejection? Betrayal?

If you have, then you can be assured you’re doing something right.

Jesus told His followers—and that includes us—that they’d suffer persecution, sometimes at the hands of those closest to them (see Matthew 10:16-26).

Paul and James both wrote about trials and tribulations that followers of Christ would go through. In fact, when Paul wrote his second letter to Timothy, he couldn’t have made it any clearer: “
Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution” (3:12).

But why do we experience sufferings? Why isn’t the Christian life all rainbows and butterflies?

Because we are at war. We are in a fallen world that craves darkness, and we shine the light of Jesus. And those who live in darkness can’t stand that light. So they do what they can to snuff it out, even when that means snuffing the life out of us.

So if you’re laughed at for reading your Bible or praying, or if others scoff at you for being “naïve,” or if you’re rejected for practicing your faith, remember: You’re not alone. And the God whom you serve in spite of whatever persecution you face will honor your faithfulness with eternal life with Him (see Mark 10:29-31).

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