1 THESSALONIANS 3:3
“so that no one would be disturbed by these afflictions; for you yourselves know that we have been destined for this.”
I really don’t like the title today – destined for afflictions. But that is exactly what Paul said. He was telling the Thessalonians that he didn’t want anyone upset that he or others were suffering or being persecuted. He said, “we have been destined for this.
Do you want to hear something really cool? That word “destined” is used in another interesting place and translated very differently. It is used in Luke 2:12. There it is translated “lying.” Yep, baby Jesus was lying in a manger. He too was destined for afflictions.
This is a hard truth to swallow, much less teach our children. As believers in the 21stcentury, we are destined to suffer. The world hates everything we stand for. Our righteousness in Christ goes against their worldview, their lifestyles and their agendas. We can expect to suffer. Our children can expect to be persecuted and ridiculed.
Hallelujah! We are counted worthy to suffer for Him. That’s a strange comment to make. Who wants to suffer? Who in their right mind would celebrate their children suffering? Well, we don’t exactly celebrate it, but we do understand it and thank the Lord that He is able to sustain us through it. Our suffering is nothing in comparison to His.
Are you willing to be laid down in suffering? Are you willing to be persecuted for Jesus? He calls us to that. And He promises to give us the ability to withstand anyone who comes against us because in reality they are against Him. He will defend you.
I am willing to suffer. I hate saying those words, but I trust You. It is through Your suffering that You gave me life. For that I am thankful.