If you do anything that makes a mark for God in this world, persecution is going to come. It goes with the territory. Second Timothy 3:12 leaves no room for doubt about that.
But why is it that simply living a godly life causes so much trouble in this world? First John 5:19 tells us it’s because “the whole world lieth in wickedness.” We’re living in a world that is ruled by the spirit of darkness. And the brighter our light becomes, the more offensive we are to that realm of darkness.
The reverse is also true. As long as we aren’t doing much for God, we’re not bothered with persecution. If we look like the world, talk like the world and act like the world—worldly people will think we’re all right. A little crazy maybe, but no real threat.
So you might as well know right now, if you’re very turned on to God, the world isn’t going to like you much. Actually, that’s an understatement. Jesus put it this way:
“If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you” (John 15:18-19).
You may be thinking, Well, I’m sure that’s true, but it’s also not very pleasant. Why do we have to talk about it?
We need to prepare ourselves so that when persecution comes, it doesn’t slow us down, much less stop us. That’s what persecution is designed to do, you know. It’s designed to discourage us and keep us from completing God’s plan for our lives.
But, praise God, if we learn how to handle it in advance, it won’t even slow us down.
So don’t be afraid of the darkness of this world. It may persecute you, but it can’t overcome you. Your family may even persecute you, but they can’t overcome you either. “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith” (1 John 5:4). Just turn up your light a little brighter…and shine on!
Speak the Word
Though I suffer persecution, I continue to live godly. (2 Timothy 3:12)
Heiligschriftstudium: Matthew 10:16-26