Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:12).

Being persecuted for living as a Christian is not something that might happen. It is something that will happen. The degree of persecution may vary by time and place, but it is something that each Christian will have to face.

I wonder sometimes if some have forgotten this (or perhaps have not been taught it). Sometimes conflicts arise when we try and live according to God’s word. Sometimes opposition will come when we preach the gospel in its purity and simplicity. How do we react when this happens? Do we say, “Oh, we must be doing something wrong,” and then change our lives or our message?

We should not automatically think we are doing something wrong when persecution comes. It could be that what we are doing and teaching is exactly right and that is why we are being persecuted.

It good and necessary to examine ourselves and our teaching (2 Corinthians 13:5). But if we are right, we cannot allow persecution to alter our actions or our message. This is the goal of persecution. Do not become embarrassed or fearful. Instead, “Consider it all joy…when you encounter various trials” (James 1:2).

Remember the words of the apostle Peter: “If anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name” (1 Peter 4:16).

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