In 2.1, we learned it’s possible to suffer for doing the right things. This is called Persecution in Christian terms. We discovered persecution comes from the World, Flesh and Devil. And the main reason for persecution is to prevent us from doing God’s will and seeing His promises manifest in our lives.
Let’s dive into how Persecution affects us.
At first sight, persecution seems a horrible experience. Who’s truly willing to suffer for doing good? Oh no, it isn’t in accordance with natural reasoning. Therefore, when persecuted, we think it’s unjust.
We always expect our good deeds to be seen as such and bad deeds as evil. But in this fallen world, evil can be seen as good. Many usually long for justice when persecuted. And when the appropriate justice isn’t rendered, they get frustrated, discouraged and depressed. In the end, Satan takes advantage of them and causes them to compromise their faith in God.
I must affirm, however, persecution isn’t always a cup of hot chocolate. Sometimes the believer endures worse than he or she can imagine. Paul talks about what they endured in Asia, ‘‘For we do not want you to be ignorant, brethren, of our trouble which came to us in Asia: that we were burdened beyond measure, above strength, so that we despaired even of life’’ (2 Corinthians 1:8, NKJV).
Persecution puts the believer in an uncomfortable situation. This lack of comfort can either result in doubts and compromise or a building of faith and spiritual progress. Persecution is meant to test your faith and usher you to the next level. If this isn’t understood, Satan finds an appropriate opportunity to prevent blessings from manifesting.
Let’s look at a few people in the Bible who were persecuted and how they reacted:
Job was seriously persecuted by Satan and his friends. His wife also left Him. But he stood firm and trusted God. He didn’t compromise his faith. In the end, God delivered him, gave him high esteem in the sight of his distractors and blessed him double portions.
Jesus and His disciples were constantly attacked by the Pharisees but they always stood on the Word of God.
In the Book of Arts, early Christians were seriously tormented by Saul causing many to flee to other regions (Acts 8, 9). Saul later became a Christian himself and was persecuted by his former colleagues but he preached Christ (Acts 9:20-22).
Paul and Silas were locked in prison for casting a demon but continued to serve God in prison (Acts 16:16-34).
Joseph’s brothers sold him to a foreign land but he continued to serve God faithfully despite the horrible hardships he went through.
So persecution comes with two questions:
Will you do God’s will in the situation?
Will you compromise?
In 2.3, we’ll discover how to deal with persecution in order not to miss God’s blessings.
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