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.

Romans 9:2 Having Great Sorrow

I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. Romans 9:2

Having great sorrow in a heart is very common to many people. Often it is due to a loss of a loved or some other type of loss–such as job loss, health, money, things, or friends.

Many in the world do not know how to deal with extreme sorrow and anguish in the heart. It tears them up and destroys their days. Some will try to end the sorrow by choosing suicide over life.

Paul promises that he has great sorrow and anguish in his heart. This sorrow is over the Jewish Israelites who are rejecting Christ and are cut off from life.

No matter where a person lives in this world, if he is a believer and follower of Jesus, he knows someone who is not a believer. This is something that occurs in every nation, city, town, and countryside around the entire world. No place is immune to it.

Sadly many believers are numb to the fact that most people they meet are not believers. People in the church have grown used to the idea that the world, as a whole, does not believe in Jesus and are dying, going to hell. It does not affect their heart.

The believer who is running after God and has an understanding of His heart, will also have a heart that breaks in sorrow for those who are lost. He will see the lost as dying and with no hope and he will weep over what he is seeing.

That sorrow can be used by God to motivate the believer to be His witness to those dying. It will help him realize that there is a great need to get the gospel message out to as many people as possible, because people are dying with Christ.

As a believer, someone had taken the time to tell you about Jesus. Look around you and see how many more people still need to hear about Jesus. See the world as God sees it, people dying without true life.

You have the message that the world needs to hear and they need to hear it today. Allow your heart to break at the death that is occurring right before your eyes, and then let it motivate you to tell more people about Jesus. Give them a chance to believe.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will see the world as God sees it; that you will see the people dying who need Jesus and weep in your heart; and that you will tell everyone you can about Jesus.

Acts 28:24 Some Will Believe, Some Will Not

Some were convinced by what he said, but others would not believe. Acts 28:24

News or stories abound everywhere a person goes all over the world. One can hear them in person, on the radio, on the internet, on television, on the phone, in magazines and more.

Some of those stories are true, while others are not. People struggle as to what to believe, because often there are two different stories with exact opposite sides of what is true. This is often complicated even more when how a person is brought up and taught is brought into the equation.

As Paul was a prisoner in Rome, he would proclaim the gospel message to any one he could, trying to persuade them to believe in Jesus. Some were convinced and believed, while others were not.

The world is always striving to get people to believe certain things. Believers sometimes will fall for those beliefs, if they are not keeping strong in God’s word.

At the same time the world is pushing their beliefs, believers are supposed to be doing the work Jesus commanded–to preach the gospel message to all the world. That gospel message is that Jesus died for their sins, that they can repent and be saved.

Every day, every believer has opportunities to tell someone about Jesus. One should do all he can to persuade others to believe, because their eternal life is at stake. While they are working to persuade others to believe, some will believe, while others will not be convinced in any way.

No believer should ever automatically presume that some person will never believe. Nor should he stop telling people about Jesus, because some reject Jesus. Every person on this earth needs to be given a chance to believe in Jesus or to reject Jesus.

God will always open doors for you to be His witness to those around you. Do not be afraid to spread His gospel message. Strive to persuade others to believe in Jesus.

Do not be discouraged and quit when some will refuse to believe. Move on to the next person and tell that person. The more people you tell about Jesus, the more some will choose to follow Jesus as some will also continue to reject Him.

You will never know how many will choose to believe, until you actually go out and give them the chance to believe.

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will tell others about Jesus; that you will not be discouraged when some reject Jesus; that God will open your eyes to the many opportunities to be His witness; and that many will believe in Jesus through your testimony.

Acts 24:14 Are You Willing To Admit To Worshipping God?

However, I admit that I worship the God of our ancestors as a follower of the Way, which they call a sect. I believe everything that is in accordance with the Law and that is written in the Prophets. Acts 24:14

Admission of doing something is often not done by many people, because it often means that they are doing something wrong. As a whole, most people do not being known as going against the flow of common society.

Instead of admitting publicly what they do, people hide it and skirt around admission. They don’t want to be seen as a crazy or bad person.

Paul was being charged in court for doing wrong. After saying he is innocent of the charges, he admits that he is a follower of the Way (that the court believed was bad) and a believer in the Law and the Prophets.

Many people are very quiet about their belief in Jesus. They know that a lot of other people are against it, or think that they are against it, so they do not want to say anything about Jesus. They will not deny Christ, but neither will they be His witness. They fear repercussions or whiplash for their belief, or it is that they do not truly follow Jesus.

True believers are not afraid to make bold, public statements that they are following Jesus. Their lives are also being lived in a way that shows that if they made that statement, it would be able to be proven as true. There is evidence that they live for God.

Admitting that one follows Jesus will often open doors to persecution and ridicule. However, at the same time, it can open other doors for others to choose to believe in and follow Jesus.

If you are a believer in Jesus, are you willing to share that information with the world?

Do not live your life as a believer in secret, but let the world know. Do not deny Jesus by a sin of omission, by being quiet when you can speak. Shine the light that has been given to you, so that everyone has a chance to know Jesus.

Trust God when you make those statements that He will take care of you, should you have to go through any persecution.

What are you willing to admit to for the world to see?

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will not be ashamed to tell the world about Jesus; that there will be evidence of you believing in Jesus; and that you will trust God when any persecution comes to your life.

Acts 21:13 What Are You Willing To Do For Jesus?

Then Paul answered, “Why are you weeping and breaking my heart? I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus.” Acts 21:13

Some people are willing to go the extra mile for someone else, even if it means pain and suffering in the process, though only a few will be willing to go to their death.

Many in the world are quick to do the extra hard things for a boss in the workplace, though often for selfish reasons. Good parents are willing to put their own desires aside in order to help their child out.

As Paul was getting ready to go to Jerusalem, he was warned not to go and that he would be bound up. Paul said he was willing to be bound or even die if necessary for Jesus in Jerusalem.

As Jesus left the earth, He gave all believers the command to be His witness. He also promised that they would have troubles in the process.

While some people will treat a witness kindly, there are many others who will fight them, both physically and with words. The world, as a whole, is against the gospel message and will do whatever it takes to stop it.

Every follower of Jesus has a message that the world needs to hear, no matter what the cost it is to get that message out. People are dying daily without ever hearing the message of salvation. Many won’t give that message because they could be persecuted.

Instead of running in fear because of persecution, the believer must be willing to look towards the eternal future of his own life and the lives of others. The suffering of this life is only temporary in light of eternity. The message needs to be continually spread at all costs.

Jesus went to the cross to provide salvation for you. In the past many believers died passing on the gospel message so that you could hear it today. Someone took a risk of persecution in getting the gospel message to you.

There is someone, or many people, in this world that need to hear that gospel message and you have the ability to bring it to them. Instead of living in fear of persecution and being quite, be willing to go out and spread the message that the world needs to hear.

What are you willing to do?

Today I pray that you will know Jesus as your Savior; that you will spread the gospel message of the salvation of Jesus to everyone you can; that God will remove fear of suffering and persecution for the gospel message; and that many will come to Jesus through your words and actions.