“Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.
This is a faithful saying:
For if we died with Him,
We shall also live with Him.
If we endure,
We shall also reign with Him”
Apostle Paul is teaching Timothy, his son in Christ, how to be a good Christian and minister of the Gospel. These spiritual lessons are eternal and for our benefit too. We are reminded that godly men shall suffer persecution. The world hated our Lord. Therefore, we cannot expect a different treatment. All believers testify to this: the moment you become born again, the people around you change their attitude to you. Friends and relatives who loved you, suddenly become enemies for no good reason. If you claim to be saved and you have not experienced this strange hatred, it may be that you are just religious. For devil does not attack you, except he sees you leaving his prison of darkness for the freedom of the wonderful light of Christ. This persecution is not an easy thing. But there specific are ways the Lord encourages us and even reward us for partaking in it.
First of all we are encouraged to look at the Lord who suffered so much in the midst of sinners. The Lord is our primary example in sufferings. He is the author and finisher of our faith, who, for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despised the shame, and has now sat down at the right hand of the throne of God (Heb. 12:2) The incarnation and resurrection of Jesus Christ, strongly believed will support a Christian under all sufferings in the present life.
Secondly, the sufferings of Apostle Paul are a great encouragement to all believers.
Thirdly, our sufferings as believers will encourage all who know us.
As believers, be prepared! It is my desire to encourage you in the royal way of the Cross, the only true way to enjoy Christianity. We endure much persecution for the sake of our Lord. Some see us and wonder. Others join the enemy and mock us. Later they may repent. Few come to our side. Little by little we learn to stand firm for the sake of Christ. We see the glory ahead and we learn to endure joyfully. This peculiar pain draws us nearer to the Lord and we are rewarded with His sweet presence.
This is my testimony: I still remember how surprised I was reading the Lord’s command to die to self, to lose my life for His sake, that I may find it. I thought that my death will be in the future, when I am ninety or so…I did not know that in Christ I have to die NOW. In the Spirit realm death produces life. So I learned to die to self and to the world. I learned to live in Him. The power of resurrection started to manifest in me. I became spiritually fruitful. This is the mark of a mature Christian that he can endure all things without complaining, that he can rejoice in all things. As you take you cross and follow Jesus, He rewards you with an increased authority to be practiced in His name. Your ministry shall influence nations. In all things Christ is glorified and that is all that matters.
In Christ I declare:
I died (in the past) to self and to the world!
I no longer live, but Christ lives in me!
I endure persecution for His sake!
I reign with Him!
I am spiritually fruitful!
To the glory of God!
In Jesus name