2 Timothy 3:12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
There is nothing more certain than the fact that we will face adversity.
As a believer, there are 2 points I want to make here. (1) Being a Christian does not make you immune from the test and trials of life. (2) Following Christ comes with a price.
Jesus warned us that trouble will come. John 16:33 - I have told you this so that through me you may have peace. In the world you'll have trouble, but be courageous—I've overcome the world!"
When you decide to live for God, Satan will come after you with every weapon in his arsenal to attempt you to quit and give up.That is why Jesus says it is important to count the cost of following Him. In Luke 14:He gave an example of one who attempt to build without counting the cost in Luke 14:28-30 8 “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? 29 For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, 30 saying, ‘This person began to build and wasn’t able to finish.’
The point is this:Count the cost of following Christ! Following Christ and quitting when persecution comes will bring you nothing but shame and ridicule. Following Christ requires not only counting the cost, but giving up everything to follow Him. Putting Him First is the key to following Him.
Following Christ with the understanding that if Christ suffer, you too will suffer!
The Apostle Peter reminds us that suffering is a part of the journey. He wants us to remember that persecution will come, for He says in 1 peter 4:12 beloved, think it not strange concerning the firey trial which is to try you as though some strange thing happened unto you.
In other words, if you are a follower of Christ, expect persecution! Christ suffered and we will too.
John 15:20 -20 Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his Master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also.
Persecution will come. Saved or unsaved, we all must endure the hardships of life.
Understand this, regardless of what you may suffer, God is still in control. Satan is only able to do to us what God allows. Prior to satan attack on Job, God said twice “have you considered my faithful servant Job”? It was God who gave satan permission to attack Job. Regardless of what your persecution may look like, God is still in control of every detail and every affairs in your life and in mine.
Persecution is one of many vehicle that is allowed by God to strengthen our inner man. One of many tools that is used to help us die to our will as we daily surrender to the will of God for our lives. Persecution results in spiritual growth.
Job suffered at the hands of satan, the children of Israel suffered at the hand of Pharaoah, Joseph suffered at the hands of his brothers and Potiphar's wife, Jeremiah suffered at the hands of the people he was sent to by God, David suffered at the hands of Saul and Christ suffered for us all.
What is my point? Suffering and persecution is a part of life. Philippians 1:29-For you have been given not only the privilege of trusting in Christ but also the privilege of suffering for Him. God here counts suffering for Christ as a privilege, according to the Apostle Paul.
If you claim to be a Christian and say "I don't suffer persecution." Read 2 Timothy 3:12 again. It says that "all that will live godly in Christ Jesus “SHALL” suffer persecution."
If you claim to "live godly in Christ Jesus", suffering will find you. If you live contrary to the world and in disagreement to it's standards and suffering has not found you yet, keep living!
When you openly live a godly life, you will butt heads with Satan. You will confront the world, and persecution will be automatic. Trust Me, you will be persecuted for Christ sake!
Regardless of what we may suffer as Christians, we must stick with Paul’s exhortation in 2Timothy 4:2-5 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. 5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.
Persecuted for Christ sake? James 1:2-4 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;3 Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.4 But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.
If you endure the hardships on this side there is a crown of righteousness waiting for you in glory. 2 Timothy 4:8-n the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing.
2 Tiomthy 2:12 -if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us.
Following Christ? Expect persecution!
God bless and I love you all.