In Series 1, we discovered we suffer because we get into troubles. We saw three main Categories of Troubles including those we get into for doing the wrong things, for doing the right things and for doing nothing. The latter part of Series 1 concentrated on those troubles we get into for doing the wrong things and how to obtain deliverance.


In this series, we deal with Troubles We Get Into For Doing The Right Things.


Suffering for doing the right things in Christian terms is known as Persecution. By ‘right things’ we mean doing God’s will. There’s one main reason why we may suffer for doing the right things as believers – we have an adversary whose mission is to prevent God’s will from manifesting in our lives. Peter says, ‘Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour’’ (1 Peter 5:8, NKJV). In John 10:10, Jesus says, ‘‘The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly’’.


We’ll consider the following in this series:

  • How we get into persecution
  • How persecution affects us
  • How to get out of persecution
  • How persecution benefits us if we handle it God’s way


So let’s deep-dive into how we get into persecution:


If it’s logical one can get into serious troubles for doing the wrong things, it sounds a little weird someone can get into troubles for doing the right things also. But it’s absolutely possible and frequent in this world. Many especially believers are presently suffering for doing the right things. And you’ll discover there’re many cases in the Bible as well.


Persecution is a reality in the life of every true believer. None is exempted from it (Mark 10:29-30, 2 Timothy 3:12). There’s no need thinking about avoiding it. Your vigilance or preventive mechanisms aren’t meant to prevent persecution. No, they aren’t. Persecution is inevitable for true believers. Don’t trust preachers who consider material peace, physical comfort and worldly prosperity as indicators for true Christian living. Those are illusions. Believers constantly fight battles in their lives. Some of those battles are indescribably rough, requiring a substantial arsenal of weapons to triumph (Ephesians 6:10-20). Overcoming is what brings fulfillment and spiritual maturity.


The Holy Spirit in believers always wants them to do God’s will. When called upon, He shows and leads every true believer to the truth. The enemies of believers persecute them for obeying the voice of the Holy Spirit in their various endeavors.


Persecution is, therefore, the resistance we encounter from our enemies. And according to the Bible, believers have three main enemies – the World, the Flesh and the Devil (Ephesians 2:1-9, 1 Peter 5:8-9). Whether we desire it or not, we must confront these three in our Godly endeavors. Let’s look at examples of persecution in the Bible;


Cain and Abel were brothers. Abel did what was right in God’s eyes but Cain didn’t. Cain hated his brother and even killed him for doing what’s right (Genesis 4:1-15).


God used His servants to edify and teach His people in those days. Today we have countless ministers propagating the Gospel. But many of them are tormented, insulted, abused and their message rejected (Matthew 23:34).


On many occasions, the Pharisees acted against Jesus and His disciples for preaching, teaching and healing. Stephen the Martyr was killed for Jesus’ sake (Acts 7:54-60). The Bible says, ‘‘Saul made havoc of the church, entering every house, and dragging off men and women, committing them to prison’’ (Acts 8:3, NKJV). Paul and Silas were put to prison for casting out a demon (Acts 16:16-24). Jesus was rejected by His own people (Mark 6:1-6). Paul describes what they endured in Asia as ‘‘burdened beyond measure, above strength, so that we despaired even of life’’ (2 Corinthians 1:8).


Joseph’s brothers hated and sold him into slavery for doing God’s will (Genesis 37-39).

Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-Nego were cast into a hot furnace for obeying and serving God (Daniel 3).

Paul was tormented by a thorn in his flesh (2 Corinthians 12:7-10).


There’re many more examples of persecution in the Bible. In fact, Paul says we serve God ‘‘…in much patience, in tribulations, in needs, in distresses, in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in fastings; by purity, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Spirit, by sincere love, by the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, by honor and dishonor, by evil report and good report; as deceivers, and yet true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold we live; as chastened, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things’’ (2 Corinthians 6:1-10, NKJV).


We may not go through all these things. But we should be ready as soldiers of God’s army to endure what comes our way by God’s grace. If Jesus, His Apostles and Early Believers were persecuted, who are we? If you face none of these things in life there’re chances you’re not living God’s will. There’s no turning around the world, flesh and devil. We must confront them.


But there’s Good News. In Jesus, we always come out victorious (2 Corinthians 2:14, Psalm 16:8, Luke 10:17, Colossians 2:14-15, 2 Corinthians 10:4-6). All we need is faith and courage to hold on to His promises as we do His will.


Contrary to what many think, persecution is part of God’s will. The mere belief in Jesus and the confession of your faith in Him is enough to get you into serious troubles. Those who promise a bed of roses in Christianity misunderstand a true Godly lifestyle. Yes, there’s enjoyment, unending blessings – spiritual and material. But not without fighting and winning spiritual battles.


In 2.2, we’ll see how persecution affects believers.

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