“Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” (ESV – Read the chapter)
Here is another place where we get realism instead of encouragement. Yet how important is this reminder for those who are following Jesus? If you want to follow Jesus well, you are going to face persecution of some kind. In fact, if you’re not facing at least some amount of persecution, you may want to look at how you’re doing in the faith. Now, this doesn’t mean we’ll face it all the time or that we should somehow go looking for it. Rather, it means that if we are following Jesus closely, we are eventually going to be treated like He was. This should make perfect sense. If we do what Jesus did, we’ll get treated as Jesus was.
The reason for this should be obvious. If we are pursuing the path of Christ, then we are necessarily not pursuing the path of the world. Well, if we are rejecting the world’s path while we are in the world, there will eventually come some friction because of this choice. We are in a strong stream flowing toward a waterfall and are moving against the current. If we stay off to the side, things won’t be too bad. That’s where the current is weakest. But, when we get out in the middle–where Jesus spent most of His time journeying–the pressure will increase radically. This doesn’t mean we need to stay in the middle all the time. Indeed, Jesus didn’t. But it does mean that if we’re staying on the side all the time, we aren’t following the path of Jesus as closely as we could be.
Pursue the path of Christ with faithfulness and determination. And when things get tough, keep pushing forward. It means you’ve found the right path. Keep up the good work.