But recall the former days in which, after you were illuminated, you endured a great struggle with sufferings: partly while you were made a spectacle both by reproaches and tribulations, and partly while you became companions of those who were so treated; for you had compassion on me in my chains, and joyfully accepted the plundering of your goods, knowing that you have a better and an enduring possession for yourselves in heaven. Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward.
George Orwell (1903-1950) said, “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” Orwell also reportedly said, “The further a society drifts from the truth, the more it will hate those that speak it.” With American politics the way it is right now, everything conservatives don’t like is “fake news” and political ads for Republicans are filled to the brim with lies. Orwell could have just as easily said, “The further Republicans drift from the truth, the more they will hate those that speak it.” I’m afraid if the Republicans regain a majority, there will be persecutions and retribution against all those who tell the truth and try to do what’s right.
Paul the Apostle describes persecution with an eternal perspective in Romans 8:18, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” Paul explains in 2 Timothy 3:13-17, “But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
At times in each of our lives, we have had to endure hardships. Whether it’s money issues, relationship woes, loss of a loved one, or hating our job, no matter the reason for would pain, God will get us through the toughest times. How matter how good we are, or how godly a life we live, we will still face hardships. As many of the people who call themselves Christians increasingly embrace hatred, greed, and sinfulness, we have to fight even harder to preserve the loving relationship that God has for us. We can’t let hate drive us away from God. An increasing number of people consider themselves non-religious. Even those raised in a Christian household are turning away from God because of the bad example that many people set in the name of Christianity.
Jesus warned in John 15:18-21, “If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me.” Although it is often suppressed by the news media, the persecution of true Christians is proliferating throughout the world. In times like these we need endurance. People who claim to be Christians are the ones causing the most harm. They are driving people away from religion by their own intolerance and hateful views. They turn their backs on Christians who actually follow the teachings of Christ.
We are tempted to become weary in well-doing. Galatians 6:9 reads, “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.” Life may look hopeless, but there is always hope. God offers us hope, love, and eternal life. We may have times that are so bad, we don’t think we will ever get out from under that dark cloud, but we will. God will shine his light on us and show us our path, our destiny. Things will work out in the end, we just need the endurance to get us there.
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