The church and persecutions – part 2
But you, Timothy, certainly know what I teach, and how I live, and what my purpose in life is. You know my faith, my patience, my love, and my endurance.
You know how much persecution and suffering I have endured. You know all about how I was persecuted in Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra—but the Lord rescued me from all of it.
Yes, and everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. (NLT)
We saw in part 1 the truth, that persecutions will always come and since we now know this, the question is….’what should be our attitude to them when they come?’
Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you.
Instead, be very glad—for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world.
KJV says ‘rejoice’. Rejoice! Rejoice! Rejoice! That should be our response in the face of persecutions. Rejoicing has nothing to do with our emotions, it’s not dependent on how we feel. Rejoicing has to do with our mindset, influenced by the word (Galatians 2:22). It is the fruit of the spirit. The act of rejoicing is the product of Joy on our inside. The thing is we don’t just rejoice in the time of persecutions, we are to rejoice even before the manifestations of persecution.
Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy.
For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.
So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.
KJV says ‘count it all Joy ‘ which means to consider it before it happens, and also the trials eventually brings about patience, which then makes us perfect (from the word teleios which means complete). Complete in labour of mental growth and moral character. We count it all Joy knowing fully well that we always come out better;
So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you must endure many trials for a little while.
These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.
Rejoicing entails, fixing our minds on what we have in Christ. Fixing our minds on the joy we have. It’s spiritual as we are also spiritual. Hence, we choose to rejoice at all times, it requires our efforts. So we don’t pray to stop persecutions from coming, we pray to be strengthened in the face of persecutions, we pray for boldness to continue, we pray that believers be delivered from wicked men, (2 theselonians 3:1-2, 2timothy 4:17-18). We also surround ourselves with people that are rejoicing. We always rejoice.
Thank you Jesus for the fruit of the spirit (Joy), thank you Father because it’s in our nature to rejoice; to be joyful. We hence choose to rejoice, we know it’s not dependent on our emotions, hence we will always rejoice, at all times we rejoice. Thank you Jesus
Author – Praise