October 25, Persecution
Today’s reading: Psalms 121-125
“Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy on us, for we have endured no end of contempt. We have endured no end of ridicule from the arrogant, of contempt from the proud”
- Psalm 123:3-4.
The theme of persecution runs through the book of Psalms, as it does throughout the New Testament, especially in the book of Revelation. God’s people can never make peace with this world, for this world’s values are totally opposed to the values and principles of God’s kingdom. Some withdraw from the world because of the tension, yet some try to fit into and become friends with the world’s ways. James warned against the latter strategy when he wrote,
You adulterous people, don’t you know that friendship with the world means enmity against God? Therefore, anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God. Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us? (James 4:4-5).
Where have you cuddled up and gotten cozy with the world? Where are you trying to avoid inevitable persecution from or a confrontation with the world system? In what situation have you hoped what Paul wrote would not be true: “In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:12)?