The providence that permits the good to suffer persecution at the hand of the evil has caused perplexity to many who are new in the Christian faith. Some are even ready to cast away their faith in God because He allows the evil doers to prosper, while the believers to suffer. Can the Lord who is just and merciful, and who is also infinite in power, tolerate such injustice?
God has given us all the evidence of His love, and we are not to doubt His goodness just because we cannot understand the workings of His providence. Jesus said to His disciples, foreseeing the doubts that would press upon their souls in days of trial: “Remember the word that I said unto you, the servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted Me, they will also persecute you” (John 15:20). Jesus suffered for us more than any of His followers can be made to suffer by evil men.
The righteous suffer in the furnace of affliction, that they themselves may be purified; that their example may convince others of the reality of faith and godliness; and also that their consistent course may condemn the ungodly and unbelieving.
God permits the evil to prosper and to reveal their enmity against Him, that when they have filled up the measure of their iniquity all may see His justice and mercy in their destruction. The day of His judgment is coming soon, when all who have broken His law and have caused God’s people to suffer will meet the just penalty of their evil deeds. God will punish every act of cruelty or injustice toward the saints as though it was done to Christ Himself.
“The Lord is not slack concerning His promise” (2 Peter 3:9). Our Heavenly Father does not forget or neglect His children; but He permits the wicked to reveal their true character, that none who desire to do His will may be deceived concerning them.
The Lord promised, “I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him” (Psalm 91:15); “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you” (Matthew 5:10-12).
In His service,
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