Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. But evil men and impostors will proceed to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 2 Timothy 3:12-13
What’s worse than being persecuted? Being deceived. At first it doesn’t seem so, but when we consider everything from the perspective of eternity, we realize that while the effects of persecution will end, the effects of deception will not. Even in the short-run, living contrary to reality is depressing. On the other hand, “living godly in Christ Jesus” only leads to greater and greater clarity. Being a disciple of Jesus involves following his instructions for how best to relate to God and to other people. Living as Jesus’ disciple is “walking in the light;” it is seeing and responding to the world as it is, not as we’d like it to be. Obedience to him proves the truth and the value of his wisdom, which motivate us to seek to learn more from him. The ability of honesty, compassion, patience, faithfulness, and love to make us truly happy becomes more and more obvious. Similarly, prayer experiences in Jesus’ name allow us to know the fullness of the Father’s pleasure with his Son and the incredible extent to which the Father will go to honor him as he answers our cries for forgiveness, sustenance and relief.
Saving Lord, grant me the patience to endure the persecutions that come as I follow you in the obedience of faith; and open my eyes to see the beauty of the truth I experience in relationship to your Son each day. Amen.