April 3rd, 2007
The ability to withstand persecution depends on the strength of character of the person being persecuted, and the importance which that person places on the reason for the persecution. A person will endure a greater level of persecution in respect of something which they regard as highly important. The price you will pay depends on the value you place on the thing you are paying for. There was something about the good news preached by Paul that made it worthwhile for someone who had only just heard it to endure high levels of persecution.
Paul’s First Letter to the Thessalonians — Chapter 3
3:1 When we could stand it no longer, we decided to stay in Athens alone, 3:2 and sent Timothy, our brother and God’s servant in the Good News of Christ, to sustain you and encourage you in your faith, 3:3 so that no one would be discouraged by these persecutions. You know that these things will happen to us, 3:4 because when we were with you, we told you in advance that we would suffer persecution. And as you know, that is how it happened. 3:5 That is why, when I could not stand it any longer, I made inquiries to find out about your faith. I was worried that the tempter might have somehow tempted you, and that our work would have been for nothing. 3:6 But Timothy has just come back from visiting you, and has brought us glad news of your faith and love. He reports that you always have fond memories of us, and long to see us, just as we long to see you.
3:7 So, friends, we are encouraged by you in the midst of our troubles and persecution, because of your faith. 3:8 We are enlivened by your persistence in the Lord. 3:9 How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy we experience on your account before our God? 3:10 Day and night we pray fervently that we will see you again, and have an opportunity to complete whatever is missing in your faith. 3:11 Now may our God and Father himself, and our Lord Jesus Christ, make a way for us to visit you. 3:12 May the Lord increase your love for each other and for all people until it overflows, just as our love overflows for you. 3:13 May he sustain your hearts so that they are innocent and holy in the presence of our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his people.
Entry Filed under: Courage