“In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil men and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.” II Timothy 3:12 (NIV)
The Apostle Paul was a good teacher. He informed young Timothy, as he was beginning his ministry, that living a godly life in this present world was not entirely a “bed of roses.” Timothy may have had “stars in his eyes” in his youthful ardor, and Paul wanted him to be prepared for the future. He was well aware of the truths of Jesus’ counsel in Matthew 5:10-12:
“Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.”
The writer of Hebrews 11:35-38 records the persecutions of faithful men and women of old, and then says that “the world was not worthy of them.”
Despite all of the hardships endured in his flesh, Paul proclaimed, “Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them.” (II Timothy 3:11b, NIV) That can be YOUR testimony today as well…even in the middle of persecution!
PRAY: “Father, thank You for deliverance from evil persecutions and jeers. I praise You that Your kingdom will prevail in my life as I trust Your strength completely. Amen.”