WHEN GOING THROUGH TRIALS
FEAR NOT

Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. I know thy works, and tribulation, and poverty, (but thou art rich) and I know the blasphemy of them which say they are Jews, and are not, but are the synagogue of Satan. Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days: be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. 2Tim 3:12, Rev 2:9,10

Here in these texts we see:

I All true believers will suffer hardship so don't be surprised when they take place
II Some believers will be individually singled out by Satan himself to be tested
III There is a time limit as to the length of our trials and the time is promised to be short
IV God is in the midst of the trial with us
V We are commanded not to fear what is to be
VI We are commanded to remain faithful even in the face of death
VII The result of our overcoming will result in a crown of life

Today we will look at the first point
I. All true believers will suffer hardship so don't be surprised when they take place.

"These things I have spoken unto you that in me ye might have peace (quietness, rest). In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer (to have courage); I have overcome (get the victory) the world." John 16:33 And just how has the Savior gotten the victory over the world you ask? Well, Revelation 1:18 tells us; "I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death."

We need not fear suffering or persecution as long as we hear the voice of our Savior who is standing in the midst of us. Zephaniah 3:17 reminds us, "The LORD thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing."

O, that's the Old Testament you say? Well, how about this verse then, Revelation 2:1 "Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith He that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks."

Seven times within the first three chapters of the Book of Revelation, we see our LORD communicating to His Body, the Church this message: He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; {Re 2:7, Rev 2:11, Re 2:17, Re 2:29,Re 3:6,Re 3:13,Re 3:22). The Subject at hand, the intense persecution and pruning that believers were and are to suffer as a result of their position as light bearers in a sinful, and dark world.

This trouble is not to be confused with the trials of every day life of which we read in the Book of Romans, "For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope" {Romans 8:20). No, these kinds of trials are directed specifically at and for the distinct purpose of silencing the witness of true believers.

Paul in 2Timothy 3:12, takes occasion from the reference to his own persecutions, to say that his case was not peculiar. It was the common lot of all who endeavored to serve their Redeemer faithfully; and Timothy himself, therefore, must not hope to escape from it. It is undoubtedly true at all times, and will ever be, that they who are devoted Christians--who live as the Savior did --and who carry out his principles always, will experience some form of persecution. Let those who have never been persecuted in any way, inquire whether it is not an evidence that they have no religion {Barnes}

Yes, we can count on tribulation. And to be forewarned is to be forearmed. Jesus' own words help to explain why this is the case for He tells us, "If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you." John 15:19

Not only should we expect trials and tribulation as a normal part of our life, but also, we are not to be surprised, taken back, when they occur. In 1Pe 4:12 we read, "Dear brothers, do not be surprised, as if it was something strange, if your faith is tested as by fire" ~ DBY

"He who gives himself entirely up to God, making the Holy Scriptures the rule of his words and actions, will be less or more reviled and persecuted" {SELECTED FRPM THE ACC} This is always true and can be counted on. If one desires to live godly in the Lord Jesus, he must be ready to experience all kinds of persecutions.

"My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations", says James 1:2. As a disciples of Christ, as one who is just passing through this world, expect, yea, look for trouble. Most of us have been around long enough to know that trials can come from any direction, they can come from within, and from without, from family, loved ones, and yes, more likely than not, enemies of the cross. Although such troubles can bring about heart-break, and at times cause our knees to shake, nevertheless, we are said to be more than conquerors through the ONE who has already rendered the world powerless to harm us.

"Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.
Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees. Say to them that are
of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even
God with a recommence; he will come and save you
." Romans 8:37, Isaiah 35:3,4

Listen to these powerful lyrics from the song, Am I A Soldier Of The Cross:
"Must I be carried to the skies,
On flowery beds of ease,
While others fought to win the prize,
And sailed through bloody seas?"


Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm yourselves likewise with
the same mind: for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin. 1Peter 4:1

For The Glory Of His Name
Whether By Life Or Death
Dan

THINK ON THESE THINGS - ACT ON THESE THINGS

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Sources For This Devotional
(1) More Than Conquerors -
An Interpretation of the Book of Revelation - By: William Hendriksen
(2) New Advent:
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/12219b.htm