The problem with persecution is that it always comes as criticism and lies about us, and various problems. It never comes in a way that we can see it is a direct result of our being servants of Jesus Christ. In fact, Satan never accuses you of being a servant of Jesus, he always has others accuse you of serving Satan, or being a thief, or a liar, or many other things. Too often we allow such slander by others to engulf us in guilt because there is often a small grain of truth mixed in, especially if we have made a mistake of some sort, or an unwise decision. We must not allow the demons to fill our minds with thoughts of guilt, worthlessness and defeat. Just look at what God’ word has to say about such persecution:
“Therefore, when we could no longer endure it, we thought it good to be left in Athens alone, and sent Timothy, our brother and minister of God, and our fellow laborer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you and encourage you concerning your faith, that no one should be shaken by these afflictions; for you yourselves know that we are appointed to this. For, in fact, we told you before when we were with you that we would suffer tribulation, just as it happened, and you know.”
1 Thessalonians 3:1-4
When someone lies about you and spreads slander about you, don’t get all upset! Understand that as a servant of Jesus Christ you are appointed to endure such trials. Just be careful that you don’t fall into the trap of sinful retaliation.
“See that no one renders evil for evil to anyone, but always pursue what is good both for yourselves and for all.” 1 Thessalonians 3:15
Here is the encouraging part:
” . . . so that we ourselves boast of you among the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that you endure, which is manifest evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be accounted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you also suffer.” 2 Thessalonians 1:4-5
To put this in terms easy to understand, when you are going through such trials and problems, recognize it for what it is – persecution for being a servant of Jesus Christ. And know this – the very fact that you are facing such trials is “manifest evidence” that God has judged you to be worthy to enter into His kingdom! Isn’t that wonderful? This why Paul could write with such confidence:
“This is a faithful saying:
For if we died with Him,
We shall also live with Him.
If we endure,
We shall also reign with Him. 2 Timothy 2:11-12