The Future Is As Bright As The Promises Of God

“. . . they will lay hands on you and will persecute you, delivering you to the synagogues and prisons, bringing you before kings and governors for My name’s sake. It will lead to an opportunity for your testimony. So make up your minds not to prepare beforehand to defend yourselves; for I will give you utterance and wisdom which none of your opponents will be able to resist or refute. But you will be betrayed even by parents and brothers and relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death, and you will be hated because of My name.” Luke 21:12-17 (NASB)
Jesus made it clear that to be one of His disciples was to invite persecution. He warned them that they would be arrested and taken before the authorities for questioning. Ironically, this persecution would present the disciples with the opportunity to witness to their persecutors. And most important of all, God would not be far away. God would be there, through His Spirit, giving them the words to say.
Later, Peter and John found themselves in such a position. Arrested and forced to stand before the Sanhedrin to answer questions, Peter and John served as witnesses to the power of Jesus and proclaimed that He was indeed the Messiah, crucified yet raised from the dead. When commanded to stop speaking of Jesus and to forsake their faith in Him, they spoke boldly, “Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge; for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.” (Acts 4:19-20)
The apostle Paul wrote to Timothy, “Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Tim. 3:12). What was true in Paul’s day still holds true today. Contemporary disciples will face various kinds of persecution if they seek to live a godly life.
The sufferings of the disciples would be a testimony, proving to Jew and Gentile the depth, the reality of their faith, the power of God which strengthened them. Today, when faced with persecution, Christian patience shows the mighty influence of the grace of God. It testifies for God more effectively than words.

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