“indeed all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” [2 timothy 3:12]

last night we heard about the doctrine of persecution: the reality of persecution, how we’re to respond to persecutors, how we’re to endure persecution and promises to those persecuted. heavy stuff. these are heavy truths that can be difficult to wrestle with because they reveal where our hearts are at and what our hope is resting in. i can assure you, that with hope resting anywhere other than completely in Jesus and his finished work on the cross, our response to persecution will not be good.

i want to focus today on that question, where is your hope resting?

trials and persecutions reveal our hearts, they expose and show us where we have really placed our hope and trust. it’s one thing to be a “sunday (or wedensday) Christian” or to just be part of the social aspect of church culture. but when you stand face to face with death or persecution for following this man called Jesus, your real motives will be revealed. there will be no room for “fair weather Christianity” when you stand alone before men and are called to give an answer for the hope that is within you [1 peter 3:15] as your life hangs in the balance…

oh, may your hope be so rooted in Jesus that when trials do come, when you are persecuted, your response would be that of paul in romans 5;

“we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings” [romans 5:2-3]

this is what Jesus talks about in matthew 7, as he drives home the importance of hope. hope so firmly rooted in the gospel that no matter what goes on around, no matter what storms arise or trails we face, we are anchored in the unchanging truth of the gospel and remain unshaken because he is steadfast.

“everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.

and the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.”

[matthew 7:24-25]

i encourage you to take this time today to be still before the Lord and ask him to search your heart, to show you where your hope is resting. pray and ask him to reveal himself to you and draw your heart closer and closer to him as you place your hope fully in him and in the unchaining truth of his word.

~josiah bridges