The first questions…”Why am I suffering?” and “Where does it say in Scripture that there will be persecution and suffering in a true believer’s life?” and “Why is it that those who do what is right are the ones who are treated with the most hatred and anger?” are very good questions for today. We will address these three questions at the same time as they are interlinked together. There are several reasons for a true believer to suffer! The reality is that in the midst of suffering, we should be growing spiritually and becoming more like the Lord Jesus Christ. If you have found that you are NOT growing and even becoming bitter over it then it might be time to check up on your salvation to see if you are in the faith or not. Here are some very Biblical reasons why you might be suffering or going through persecution:
- Those who live godly lives will suffer persecution. 2 Tim. 3:12, “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” (See also Jn. 15:18-20; 17:14; Php. 1:28-29; 1 Thess. 3:3; 1 Pt. 2:21; 4:13; 1 Jn. 3:1, 13.)
- We learn how to comfort those who are going through what we have gone through. 2 Cor. 1:4-7, “Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ. And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation. And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation.” (See also Rom. 8:17; 2 Cor. 4:10, 15.)
- The Lord purges us. Jn. 15:1-, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit he taketh away: and every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit.” (See also Jn. 17:17; Rom. 12:1-2; Eph. 4:22, 24-25; Col. 3:9; 1 Pt. 1:22.)
These are just 3 reasons for us to understand that we will go through persecution and suffering. God does not leave us without hope because our hope is in Him. Here are a few verses that will uplift you during this time of persecution and suffering you might be going through.
Is. 40:31, “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”
Ps. 27:14, “Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.”
Ps. 62:1, 5, “<<To the chief Musician, to Jeduthun, A Psalm of David.>> Truly my soul waiteth upon God: from him cometh my salvation. My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him.”
Ps. 130:5, “I wait for the LORD, my soul doth wait, and in his word do I hope.”
Is. 25:9, “And it shall be said in that day, Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us: this is the LORD; we have waited for him, we will be glad and rejoice in his salvation.”
These are just a few of the verses that tell us to wait on the Lord’s direction. As we wait, we begin to see how the Lord uses persecution and suffering to change us as long as we are doing it patiently. Eventually, the Lord does give us a short breathing space so we can prepare for the next onslaught so we must wait for His salvation. Remember that at no time are we promised an easy time if we are saved.
There is always a price to pay. We can pay it now or we can pay it later. When you pay it now, you go through times of persecution and suffering for the Lord. Throw yourself on HIM and let Him bring peace in your heart and soul during the hard times! Make the Lord your all-in-all during this hard time! When you pay it later, you will find things go great for you now but one day there will be a time of suffering and persecution but it will last forever! Pay the price, one way or another!
To Be Continued…