Prepared for Persecution
For, in fact, we told you before when we were with you that we would suffer tribulation, just as it happened, and you know.
I Thessalonians 3:4 NKJV
What was Paul’s gospel message in the churches he visited? Part of his message, at least in Thessalonica, was: “You will suffer tribulation. Plan on it. Don’t be surprised.”
So much for the ‘Prosperity Gospel’. Apparently, Paul thought it was important to include suffering in his earliest gospel presentations. He was glad he did. So that when it happened it didn’t derail their faith. Suffering and persecution are easier to bear when you are prepared for it and expect it.
Even knowing persecution was part of the deal these early Christians gave their lives and hearts to Jesus. And they endured the persecution! That’s inspiring.
Do I have that kind of committed faith?
Jesus, You have promised me peace and Your Presence, not material prosperity or no persecution. I choose You. Amen.