How should believers view persecutions and trials?

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Since the entrance of sin to the world, there has been “enmity” between Christ and Satan (Genesis 3:15; Revelation 12:7–17). The devil revealed his hate to God by persecuting His children. And this war will go on until “the kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ” (Revelation 11:15; Daniel 2:44; 7:27).

Blessing for the persecuted

Jesus comforted His children in the Sermon on the Mount saying, “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matthew 5:10-12).

Jesus suffered the most persecution

The most One that greatly suffered persecution is our Savior Jesus Christ. The innocent Son of God, suffered and died to redeem mankind from the penalty of their sins (1 Peter 3: 13). “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” (John 15:13).

The enemies of God persecuted Christ and they may be expected to persecute His followers. Jesus said, “The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you” (John 15:20; 2 Timothy 2:12).

But the good news is that suffering ends in eternal glories for the faithful,  Paul wrote, “but rejoice to the extent that you partake of Christ’s sufferings, that when His glory is revealed, you may also be glad with exceeding joy” (1 Peter 4:13 also Romans 8:17, 28, 35). The thrill and awe of heaven will eclipse any suffering on this earth. For “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him” (1 Corinthians 2:9)

Rejoicing in tribulation

Believers “through much tribulation” must “enter into the kingdom of God” (Acts 14:22; John 16:33; 2 Timothy 3:12) as their lives will witness against the evil doers (1 John 3:12). But through all the tribulation, they may rejoice greatly for “they were counted worthy to suffer shame” (Acts 5:41). This joyful spirit was reflected by the countless martyrs through the ages.

Persecutions sanctify the believers

However, believers must not glory in trials for its own sake. Rather, they should rejoice in persecution because they know that it is a reason to witness to God’s power in saving them. And also, because they know that tribulation, when endured (Hebrews 12:11), will help their own sanctification (James 1:2-3). These very experiences will prepare them for this life and the life to come.

In His service,

BibleAsk Team

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