Message Magazine’s Online Devotional for Thursday, January 12, 2017
“Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” (2 Timothy 3:12).
The Bible is full of promises. To those who love Him, God promises eternal life and peace with the Father. He promises answered prayers to those who pray according to His will and in His name. Jesus promised to prepare a place for His children and one day soon, He will return to receive us unto Himself. All of God’s promises are sure. We never need to doubt that God will make good on His word.
Under the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, Paul wrote a promise to His son in the gospel. It may not seem like a promise from God, but it most certainly is. “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” (2 Timothy 3:12).
The Bible says if we are faithful to God, we shall, not might, but shall suffer persecution. Paul was saying this from his own experience to encourage brother Timothy to remain faithful to God through the scriptures. It seems that Paul was quite comfortable with the fact that faithfulness to God brings persecution from the world. “Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death” (Philippians 3:8-10). Since Paul loved Christ so much, he was happy to suffer for His sake.
You may be wondering why a promise of persecution for righteousness’ sake would make anyone happy. Notice the words of Christ Himself. “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” (Matthew 5:11-12).
You see, all of the persecution that we encounter is nothing compared to the suffering Jesus endured for our sake. He did it all that we might be saved. Why do we have this promise of persecution? “…because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” 1 Peter 5:8. One day soon this journey will be over, and we will meet the King. Be encouraged by these words: “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal” (2 Corinthians 4:17-18).
Ask the Lord to help you accept the promise of eternal reward, which will far outweigh the temporal difficulties.