S51P3- Notes on godliness: it invites persecution

2 Tim. 3:12-15

Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.

Like anyone else, her life had become a quest for peace.  It was during this time that she was introduced to the bible and began developing her relationship with Jesus Christ.  In that moment of salvation, every care fell away.  Eventually, the peacefulness she expected to see in her life did not manifest.  From the time she got saved, it seemed like turmoil popped up around every corner.  First, friends began to turn on her. Then, her family began to question the things she now believed.  Even her dreams became a place of trial.  What she had thought would happen was that becoming a Christian would make life rosy and sweet. What she found was that her faith seemed to put a target on her back. The life of peace she envisioned was becoming a life of persecution.

The seeming juxtaposition between the peace the bible promises and the persecution we know will come with our faith can keep people from having a relationship with God.  The disconnect is that they do not understand what God’s peace looks like.  Jesus said that He gives us peace not as the world gives peace, which means that our peace is not founded in our circumstances.  Our peace exists despite our circumstances.  We know that we will be persecuted because the world will hate us the same way it hated him, but we can still have peace even in that persecution.  That is the brand of peace that Jesus gives us.  We can reconcile God’s peace with our destined persecution when we realize it is peace in the midst of trial, not instead of trial.

Those who desire to live a godly life can expect that the enemies of God will be their enemies as well.  His enemies will confront us and try to engage us in battle.  This is a fact that we must accept and a situation for which we must be prepared.  God does not promise that our lives will be free from trouble.  What He promises is that He will provide peace during that time and equip us for victory.  We cannot naively expect that life will be easy and then become upset and disillusioned when difficulties arise.  Living a godly life requires suffering as Christ suffered, but we can rest knowing that we will be relieved and rewarded as He was.  Father, thank You that You allow us to suffer as your Son suffered, and remind us that You promise peace in the midst of those trials.