10 You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, 11 persecutions, sufferings—what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured. Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them. 12 In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 2 Timothy 3:10-12
Verse 12 should be troubling to us, shouldn’t it? The flip side to that verse is that if you’re not living a godly life in Christ Jesus, you won’t be persecuted. Persecution obviously comes to us in a lot of different ways. Of course, the worst is imprisonment, beatings, and even death. We are ostracized, laughed at, mocked, and ridiculed for what we believe. Sometimes you’ll lose your job because of stances you’ll take. It’s obviously a milder form of persecution than beatings or death. The bolder and “in your face” you are the more substantial those persecutions will be.
Paul endured some of that harsher persecution. Paul was a bold preacher and teacher. He ruffled a lot of feathers wherever he went. God’s hand was on Paul because there was no shortage of people who wanted to eliminate this problem called Paul. Without God intervening, Paul undoubtedly would have been taken out early in his ministry.
Whether it’s a harsh word about our beliefs, imprisonment, or beatings, God promised He would be with us. I know, it’s easier said than done in a comfortable, air conditioned office, but true nonetheless.