January 16, 2014
“For verily, when we were with you, we told you before that we should suffer tribulation; even as it came to pass, and ye know.” (I Thessalonians 3:4)
When the Lord appeared to Saul of Tarsus on the road to Damascus, it was a life-changing experience for the persecutor of the church. The Lord made known to a man named Ananias that Saul was “a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel: for I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name’s sake.” (Acts 9:15-16)
As we look at the life of Saul, who also is called Paul, we see what a great witness he was for the Lord. He was willing to suffer and to die for the cause of Christ. In his letter to the Christians at Thessalonica, he told of his desire to see them, but Satan hindered them. He sent Timothy in his place to strengthen and encourage them in their faith, so the fact that he was going through trials would not be upsetting to them. he reminded them that they already knew that suffering for the Lord would be a part of his life.
As Christians, we know that we will also endure persecution because of our stand for Christ. The Lord made this known to His disciples before He was crucified. He said, “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) The important thing for us to remember is that we will not have to endure persecution alone. The Lord has promised to always be with us. (Matthew 28:20) and for the trusting Christian, that is enough.
In his letter to the believers at Thessalonica,
The apostle Paul made known,
That he was being persecuted as had been predicted,
But through it his deep faith in God was shown.
We will also suffer for the Lord,
As we witness for Him each day,
But in spite of the trials we face,
We must trust Him and obey.
Dear Father, Please help me to be strong in faith when persecution comes my way, that Christ may be honored and glorified. In His holy name I pray. A-men.