“In fact, when we were with you, we kept telling you that we would be persecuted. And it turned out that way, as you well know.” 1 Thessalonians 3:4
Paul had expected to be persecuted. He knew that it was coming and had told the people it would happen. Most likely some of those people could not see that coming. They were probably praying that it would not happen as Paul was thinking and saying.
Evidently Paul had a vision or insight from God about his idea that he would be persecuted, since it actually occurred. Now he is reminding the people that he said it would happen and it did.
Why would he want to remind them of what he said? It may have been that he knew of the words of Jesus that every believer would also be persecuted. He may also wanted to point out that yes he was persecuted, but it turned out for the good. He had not been defeated by the enemy.
If you have not been persecuted for believing in Jesus yet, there will come a day that you will be. You must know that it is coming. When persecution against you starts, do not be surprised or alarmed.
Jesus said that as they had done to Him, they would also do to all of His followers. He walked that path. Later Paul walked that path. Throughout history many have walked the path of persecution. Your time will come also.
For some it meant death, for others just a lot of suffering. Each person has a different path of persecution that they will go through.
Know that God is with you through it all. Lean on Him for the strength and encouragement. Jesus had won the battle and He will help you win the battle also.
Keep your eyes on Jesus with the hope of eternal life some day. All these light and momentary struggles will be nothing compared to eternity with God. Be encouraged that God will bring you through any troubles you are having.
Pray for those being persecuted and pray that you will also be ready for it when it comes.
I pray today that God will fill you with His Holy Spirit; that God’s presence and strength will be with you in a real way; that you will not fear what the enemy may do; that you will not be surprised by any attacks; and that God will use you to draw many to Jesus.