Saturday, January 17, 2015

2 Timothy 3:10-12 -- On Persecution and Deliverance

"But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience,

Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.
Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution."
2 Timothy 3:10-12

There are some good reminders here.  Some of them are about how to "live godly."  We need to have purpose and faith and charity and patience, among other things. :)  List verses are always good because it helps us go down the checklist and think about how we are doing on some of that.  The part that struck me the most today though was the reminder that anyone who is trying to live the way that God asks is going to encounter persecution.
We sometimes think when persecution and other negative things happening to us that it is a sign that we are going in the wrong direction.  We think life is supposed to be easy, and the path of least resistance must be the right way.  But we are reminded here that often the correct path is a difficult one.  This life isn't just to coast through.  We're supposed to learn something... and learning takes practice, and study, and effort, and sometimes involves hardship, and pain.  Sounds tough, but let's also remember at the end of that first verse.  "But out of them all the Lord delivered me."  ... Delivering doesn't mean doing it for us, or saving us from having to learn, but it does mean that God is there to support us when we are trying to live the right way, and that he will help us through.
Today, let's remember that persecution is part of the package.  And so is deliverance. :)

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