Persecution & Suffering: 32

In 2 Timothy 2:11-13 Paul says, “This saying is trustworthy: ‘If we have died with him we shall also live with him; if we persevere we shall also reign with him. But if we deny him he will deny us. If we are unfaithful he remains faithful, for he cannot deny himself.’”

It is evident from this passage that our response to tribulations is critical. We are to persevere. As in the parable of the soils in Matthew 13, Mark 4, and Luke 8, “Those on the rocky ground are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no root. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they fall away.” (Luke 8:13). Trials are a test to see whether or not our roots are in Christ.

If our roots are in Christ we will persevere. If He is our foundation, we will stand in the storms. In Matthew 7:24-27 Jesus said, “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.  The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.  But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand.  The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

If we do not persevere, but rather deny Him by word or deed, by action or inaction, He will deny us. In Luke 9:26, He says, “Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.”

We are to be bold emissaries of the Kingdom. 2 Corinthians 5:20 says, “We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.”

The enemy has a purpose for persecution. His purpose is to silence us. If we allow persecution or the fear of persecution to silence our testimony, we are collaborating with the enemy. Let us rather, boldly and openly stand for our King and His Kingdom in the midst of persecutions and threats.