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
Trouble is something that most people attempt to avoid as much as possible. Very few people like to walk into trouble.
When a person is driving down the road and they see a notice that there is a major accident ahead, he will often try to take a different route to keep from being slowed down or stopped. When a person is walking down a street and see two other people arguing loudly, he will usually, quickly walk by or take a different route to stay away from the trouble.
The change of route will occur even more, if a person knows that there is someone upset with him. People will avoid those who are upset with them. Very few people like confrontation with a person who does not like them.
Paul did not change his route or back down from a negative confrontation. He was not looking at just someone being upset with him, but that there would be persecution ahead. There would be people ahead in his path that would physically strive to harm him. They would beat him and put him in jail.
Most people would turn and run the other direction, yet, Paul did not. He followed what God wanted him to do, be a witness to the people at all costs.
True believers will have to go through some persecution, sooner or later. The world hates believers and will do whatever it takes to remove them. Yet, the believer must move forward, knowing that trouble and persecution is coming. He must not back down from the path God has him on.
The value of walking into trouble and persecution is that God’s word will move forward and touch lives. The person who stands strong and true for God will be a living example of the light and love of Jesus to this dark world.
Are you avoiding talking about Jesus because you do not want to be persecuted? Are you avoiding trouble at all costs?
Or are you willing to be a witness of Jesus to those around you, regardless of what happens?
Jesus was persecuted and He promised His followers will be persecuted. Do not run from it, but keep walking forward, knowing God is in control. God can use that persecution to spread His word.
I pray today that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will be His witness to this world; that you will not fear the trouble the world will give; and that God will strengthen you in times of trouble and persecution to be His witness.