Persecution. It’s an ugly word. I don’t think Americans really understand it. Persecution to the western mindset means someone was rude to you in the Starbucks line on the way to work. Unfortunately, this confused meaning makes us think anything that doesn’t go our way is a persecution of some sort. And we try to make something spiritual out of it.
Someone laughs at your clothes = persecution. Someone honks at you at a red light = persecution. You are overlooked for a promotion = persecution. Being asked to wear a mask during COVID = persecution. (I probably should not have gone to that extreme but the sentiment is out there!) I think you get the picture.
And, for some reason, we have this false belief that God only wants to prosper us, bless us, and give us good gifts and great things. Does He? Of course, but no where does it claim in Scripture that we only receive good.
In fact, 2 Timothy 3:12 says, “Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.”
What? Persecution? Really?
Yep. The early church suffered a great deal because of their faith. When they were persecuted, their faith grew and the church grew.
No one wants persecution. No one wants to suffer but if that is what it takes for a lost world to see the power of Christ, maybe we should start looking at it in a different way. Instead of wondering why we might be persecuted, we should be asking why we aren’t being persecuted. Could it be because we aren’t desiring to live godly in Christ?
Ouch…that hurts a bit!
It’s just something we should think about. What will it take for the church to change the world around it instead of the world changing the church?
It’s a question we should definitely be asking.
I want to see change. Let it start in me, Lord. Let it start right here!