Everybody seems to undergo stress in their life. For some, it’s a daily event. For others, it seems to come and go. The same seems true for “persecution.” For some, it’s constant; for others, it comes and goes. Why?
According to a google search, “Persecution is the systematic mistreatment of an individual or group by another group. The most common forms are religious persecution….” Persecution involves the act of pursuing another “in a manner to injure, grieve, or afflict; to beset with cruelty or malignity; to harass; especially, to afflict, harass, punish, or put to death for adherence to a particular religious creed or mode of worship; To harass with importunity; to pursue with persistent solicitations; to annoy.”
All those who want to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. – 2 Timothy 3:12
When I read this Scripture, initially I am upset, and depressed. Here we are, mere humans, trying to follow Christ, and God tells us we WILL be persecuted! Well that doesn’t sound fair? After all, we are the ones who are TRYING to live godly lives. Why should we be punished “harassed,” systematically mistreated, or “punished?”
Well, I believe the reason is to help strengthen our faith. For we know that we WILL overcome them. We have been persecuted in the past and have made it through. God reminds us through Timothy that we will endure:
What persecutions I endured! Yet the Lord rescued me from them all – 2 Timothy 3:11
What you may not have noticed in these passages is the order of the Scriptures. I have listed them purposely in reverse order. The correct order flows from the bottom Scripture to the top Scripture listed. Why did I do this?
Simply, I wanted to remind everyone that it is important not to remove Scripture from its context. Many times, especially this week, I was reminded by others about “Bible truths.” However, when I was told the “truth,” I was only told a misrepresentation about the truth.
For example, you may have heard the old adage “money is the root of all evil.” This is in FACT written word for word in the Bible, as is “There is no God.” HOWEVER…the first Scripture actually reads “THE LOVE OF MONEY is the root of all evil – 1 Timothy 6:10” and the second scripture actually reads “The fool says in his heart, ‘There is no God.’ – Psalm 14:1”
So when you are living your daily life and somebody attempts to harass or persecute you through the use of Biblical Scriptures, don’t fall for trickery and deception. When someone presents you with a supposed Bible “truth,” investigate it fully, pray about it, and allow God to rescue you from doubts and questions. He will strengthen you through the harassment if you allow Him to do so.