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

what an incredible verse … here we have the beautiful tension of living out the gospel in a fallen, broken, sinful world that hates Jesus. as we dive into this verse, we see broken, sinful hearts, beautifully redeemed, with new desires, coming face to face with the darkness of a sinful world.

this is real.

this isn’t a joke.

this isn’t a fun social club.

this is life and death.

following Jesus can and will get you killed.

i pray that the Lord would drive this verse deep into our souls. the desire to follow Jesus, the passion to live like him, will cause you to be persecuted.

this isn’t a maybe, this isn’t a possibility. paul is very clear here, “all who desire… will be persecuted.” hearts that have been changed by the beautiful, soul altering, darkness destroying power of the gospel, will face persecution.

my prayer today is that you would spend this time, right now to sit in the presence of Jesus and allow this reality to hit you in the face. you will be persecuted for living like Jesus.

persecution comes in many different ways and at many different ways. but when it comes, rejoice! rejoice in this truth, that the desire in your heart to live like Jesus is making you look different. the gospel is alive in your heart! as you face persecution, take joy in the fact that you look so much like Jesus that it’s making the enemy uncomfortable!

so stand strong brothers and sisters, allow your feet to be firmly planted in the truth of God’s word, put on the whole armor of God and be still. be still in his presence and learn his voice. and know that no matter what comes your way, your loving Father promises to sustain you and bear you up.

spend time in God’s presence today and meditate on these verses, asking the Lord to plant you firmly in his word as you trust in him.

“cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.”  [psalm 55:22]

“blessed is the man (or woman) who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. he is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. in all that he does, he prospers.”  [psalm 1:1-4]

“count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. and let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.”  [james 1:2-4]

~josiah bridges