1 Thessalonians 3:4 Don’t Be Surprised When Persecution Comes

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

No one really wants to believe that trouble is going to come their way. Most people are hoping for favor with others and very little to no severe opposition.

Often when one sees trouble ahead, he will turn a different direction to avoid the trouble. Some will continue to boldly move forward in spite of the trouble arising. This movement forward is spurred on by the strong belief in the need to keep moving forward.

Paul reminds the people that he had told them that he would be persecuted and that it actually occurred as he said it would.

One thing that believers can expect is opposition and persecution. The world does not like to be told that they are wrong and are being condemned to die in eternal agony.

The gospel message is one that tells people that they are living in sin and are going to be condemned for eternity. This goes against what the majority of people in the world believe. Since it goes against what they believe, they will fight against it. This fight is persecution.

Jesus, Himself, was persecuted. His followers would be just like Him and also will be persecuted. There is not a place in this world in which there is not some level of persecution against believers. Satan does not want any believer to succeed at all costs. Persecution may be just some words of ridicule, or it may be prison time, or it may even include death threats and acts.

Every believer has been warned of coming persecution, so none should be surprised when it occurs, nor should they back done from passing on the gospel message.

No matter where you live, you will face some persecution for sharing the gospel message. It may be a daily threat, or it may be just a once in a while threat, however, it will come.

Do not be surprised when people come against you for sharing the message of Jesus. Be bold and share the message to everyone. While many may reject the message, there will be some who will hear the message and believe in Jesus.

Do not back done or give in or be surprised when opposition arises to your message.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Lord and Savior; that you will be bold in sharing the gospel message of Jesus; that God will give you strength in the midst of persecution and opposition; and that many will believe in Jesus due to your message.

1 Thessalonians 2:2 Do You Dare To Tell The Gospel Message?

We had previously suffered and been treated outrageously in Philippi, as you know, but with the help of our God we dared to tell you his gospel in the face of strong opposition. 1 Thessalonians 2:2

Giving out information on something is usually safe. Hundreds of thousands of businesses promote their products or services everyday in thousands of different ways, without a lot of harsh opposition.

However, there are some groups that openly oppose some products or services. These groups can sometime be very harsh in their disagreement, even to the point of breaking the law to stop the product.

Paul points out that they had been previously treated badly in Philippi, but with God’s help he was able to speak the gospel message to them in spite of severe opposition.

In some places, the gospel message can be spread without much opposition. Most of the people in those places are willing to hear it, whether they agree or disagree with the message.

However, in a majority of the world, there is a strong disagreement with the gospel message. The opposition is strong enough that the life of the messenger will be seriously threatened. Some nations do not have a strong death threat against the gospel message, but will ridicule and try to discredit those who speak it.

Regardless of the level of threat against the gospel message, believers need to get the message out to everyone. Severe opposition should never stop a believer from talking about Jesus and what He has done.

God will pour out His Holy Spirit on a believer to have the boldness and strength to speak the gospel message in spite of severe opposition and/or persecution. The believer needs to go in with the strength and boldness of God and dare to spread the gospel message.

No matter what your position in life is, one thing God has called you to do is be His witness by spreading the gospel message. As you do this there will be times that you will have to face some opposition. This opposition may be just light ridicule or it may be physical harm.

Regardless of the opposition, be bold in the Lord and pass the message on. People are dying without knowing Jesus and you may be the one who can tell them. It may be your message that may change their life.

Dare to tell people about Jesus.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Lord and Savior; that you will be bold in spreading the gospel message about Jesus; that God will give you strength and favor being a witness; and that God will turn lives around through your message.

Nehemiah 4:1 Opposition Will Arise

Coastal waves

When Sanballat heard that we were rebuilding the wall, he became angry and was greatly incensed. He ridiculed the Jews, Nehemiah 4:1 

When attempting to do something great, most people will have some enemies. There will be opposition to what is being done.

There will be two main types of enemies that a person can have. One is the type that thinks what is being done is crazy and strives to discourage it. They reject the idea of doing something great. This type of enemy is very common.

The other type of enemy is those who physically strive to stop the work. Stopping can be done by physically harming the person or by sabotaging the work in some manner. Blocks are put up as fast as possible to stop the work from being accomplished.

Nehemiah and the Israelites were working on rebuilding the walls of Jerusalem. Sanballat and several others saw this and were very angry about it. They did not want the city rebuilt, so they set out to stop the people.

Opposition to the things of God has not changed over the years. Jesus was opposed by many people when He walked on the earth, and ultimately gave His life because of opposition, though God used that death. The disciples were often imprisoned and tortured for the doing the work of God.

Believers today are often opposed. As believers stand for life, some oppose them saying they are being insensitive to the desires of people. As believers work to build God’s kingdom, the enemy tries to stop them in many ways. Rules are put in place against believers, false reports are given, and in many places their lives are threatened.

Sometimes this opposition even occurs inside the church. People do not like to change and want to stay in their old ways.

Know that as soon as you begin to do God’s work, the enemy will rise up to attempt to stop you. You will be ridiculed and held back at times. Hold fast to God and continue to do His work. Even Jesus was opposed, so you are in good company.

God can give you the wisdom and strength to keep going forward in the face of the opposition. Working for God and doing His mission is an eternal perspective, not the temporal view the world has. Don’t give in to the opposition, but do God’s work.

I pray today that you will know the work God has for you to do; that God will give you favor and strength to do His work; that God will remove fear of the enemy; and that God will protect you from the strikes of the enemy.

Ezra 4:4 Opposition Will Happen

Fire and water

Then the peoples around them set out to discourage the people of Judah and make them afraid to go on building. Ezra 4:4 

Doing something great will often have some great challenges to make happen. Beyond just the challenges of knowing how to do something great is the opposition that can occur.

Men and woman who are striving to do something great are often told that they are crazy and should not try to do it. The reason they are told that they are crazy and shouldn’t do it is for several reasons. Sometimes it is so different that others think it cannot really be done, and one should not waste it time trying. Other times it is out of fear of it actually working and getting done.

The Israelites had been put into captivity in Persia, yet, were given direct permission from the king of Persia to go to Jerusalem and rebuild the temple to God. As they had begun to do the work, the people around them worked hard to stop them. They tried to discourage them from finishing the work that they had started to do.

Fear of Christians accomplishing something is still around to this day. The world is an enemy to Jesus and does not want Him or His followers to ever accomplish anything. The thing that believers do is following and obeying God. They are working to build God’s kingdom here on this earth.

Any time a believer is doing God’s will, Satan and this world will rise up in opposition. He does not want the believer to be successful, because it means it will be his downfall. The world does not want it, because they can feel God’s judgement upon their lives in seeing the lives of believers.

God has or will call you to do something for His kingdom. It may be building a new temple or it may just be a simple thing of telling someone about Jesus. Either way it is doing something for Him.

As soon as you begin to do what God has asked of you, the world will begin to attempt to discourage you and stop you. They may say it is a waste of time and that it won’t work with just words. Or they may be physically violent against you.

Do not be surprised. There was opposition to the Israelites and against Jesus. You will receive opposition. Stay true to God and do what He has given you to do. Don’t be discouraged, God is with you.

I pray today that you will know the mission God has for you; that you will not be discouraged; that you will stay true to God; that God will give you strength to do His work; and that you be His witness.

Acts 18:6 When Rejected, Move On

Walking Away

But when they opposed Paul and became abusive, he shook out his clothes in protest and said to them, “Your blood be on your own heads! I am innocent of it. From now on I will go to the Gentiles.” Acts 18:6

Paul had went to the city of Corinth and was preaching the Gospel message there. He was trying to reach the Jews for Jesus. Many of the Jews opposed him and became abusive. Instead of fighting them, he shook off his clothes and moved on to another group of people.

It is very common for someone who is trying to change the mindset of a group of people to be opposed. People do not like to be told that their way of thinking is wrong and most people do not like change.

While most people do not get abusive when being presented a new way of thinking and acting, there are some who do. It is difficult for people to change traditional ways of acting or thinking.

A believer who is working on fulfilling the great commandment to tell others about Jesus, will eventually meet up with people who will oppose him. And sometimes that opposition will get abusive.

For the believer, this opposition can not only appear with those outside the church, there are some inside the church who will oppose him for what God is leading him to say and do. Just as it is in the world, it can happen in the church. People in the church will become abusive in defending their beliefs or actions.

Instead of fighting back or becoming abusive, the believer needs to shake off his clothes and move on to another person or group. Do not fight as the world does and become abusive. Do not be demanding. In these types of actions, there is no love.

If you have not faced this yet, there will come a day when it will happen if you follow God with all of your heart. People will oppose you and become abusive. Do not let it worry or get you angry. Move on to someone else. Keep doing what God wants you to do.

Allow God to work in the hearts and minds of the people. Make sure that you are doing what God wants you to do. It may be rough, but it will be worth it in the end.

I pray today that you will know what God wants you to do; that God will give you strength and wisdom to do His will; that God will give you favor with the people; and that God will guide you when to move on to other groups of people.