PERSECUTION & SUFFERING
There are many scriptures indicating that Christians will be persecuted by the world and even other Christians in various ways. We must do God’s will in spite of opposition. We must trust God to get us through our trials and not rely on our own abilities.
1. In this world you will have trouble (tribulation), But take heart! I have overcome the world. John 16:33b
2. In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. II Timothy 3:12
3. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted, and saves those who are crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous; but the Lord delivers him out of them all. Psalm 34:18-19
4. If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember the words I spoke to you: “No servant is greater than his master.” If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. John 15:18-20a
We are to rejoice in our sufferings because there are spiritual advantages.
5. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. Matthew 5:10-12
6. I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. Romans 8:18
7. Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast. I Peter 5:8-10
8. We do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about the hardships we suffered in the province of Asia. We were under great pressure, far beyond our ability to endure, so that we despaired even of life. Indeed, in our hearts we felt the sentence of death. But this happened that we might not rely on ourselves but on God, who raises the dead. II Corinthians 1:8-9
9. Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. James 1:2-4
10. Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. Romans 5:1-5
11. Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. I Peter 4:12-14
12. However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. I Peter 4:16
13. There should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. I Corinthians 12:25-26
14. In this (salvation) you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith--of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire--may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. I Peter 1:6-7
15. I (Paul) want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death. Philippians 3:10
16. Brothers, as an example of
patience in the face of suffering, take the prophets who spoke in the
name of the Lord. As you know, we consider blessed those who have
persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the
Lord finally brought about. James 5:10-11
17. But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. I Peter 2:20b-21
In Luke 4:1-13, Jesus was tempted by the devil, and resisted each temptation by quoting the Bible. He went through a lot of rejection and opposition in His ministry. Are we able to pass tests of being tempted by the devil?
18. He (Jesus) was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Isaiah 53:3a
19. Although he (Jesus) was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek. Hebrews 5:8-10
20. In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering. Hebrews 2:10
God comforts us in our trials.
21. Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. II Corinthians 1:3-5
22. I have great confidence in you; I take great pride in you. I am greatly encouraged; in all our troubles my joy knows no bounds. For when we came into Macedonia, this body of ours had no rest, but we were harassed at every turn--conflicts on the outside, fears within. But God, who comforts the downcast, comforted us by the coming of Titus. II Corinthians 7:4-6a
If everything is going well, we tend to forget that we need the Lord and drift away from Him.
23. When the Lord your God brings you into the land he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give you--a land with large, flourishing cities you did not build, houses filled with all kinds of good things you did not provide, wells you did not dig, and vineyards and olive groves you did not plant--then when you eat and are satisfied, be careful that you do not forget the Lord, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. Deuteronomy 6:10-12
When gold or silver is placed in the fire, the impurities show up, just as sin in our lives does.
24. Behold, I have refined you, but not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction. Isaiah 48:10
25. Every man’s work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire, and the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is. I Corinthians 3:13
26. But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold. Job 23:10
We may suffer because we are a Christian, but we do not want to suffer because of sin in our lives or in the lives of our family. That is the purpose of this website.
27. For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 6:23
No matter what we experience, God somehow works in it for our good.
28. And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28
Prayer: Father, help me to trust You in my testings and trials. Help me to know that you are with me in them, and that You will use them and have used them to bring glory to Yourself and greater maturity to me. Show me what negative things have happened because of sin in my life and what I need to do about it. Please heal me of any emotional or physical damage that has resulted. I thank You for Your love, protection and healing in all that has happened to me. In Jesus' name. Amen.