Mark 10:29-30, “29 I tell you the truth, Jesus replied, no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel 30 will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields–and with them, persecutions) and in the age to come, eternal life.”

I would like to share a promise that many might wish God never made. However, to be faithful to the promises of God, I felt it necessary to share this one as well. The reason for me sharing the promise of persecution is not to discourage or frighten you, but rather to give you hope and encouragement.

If you were to read this series and only think that God promised pleasant things, and then suffer unpleasant times, you might be tempted to lose your faith in God because you believe He is not trustworthy. At the same time, when I am faithful to share both God’s pleasant and unpleasant promises, you will have courage to face the hard times when they come; and, trust me, they will come.

Let us look to the above passage in its context and be encouraged with the promise of persecution. First, we read that Jesus promised great blessings to His new disciples. He said that whatever they leave, for His sake, they will receive back a hundred times in this present age (that’s the good news)! We can rightfully pray for new houses, land and family, if we have left them for Jesus.

At the same time, along with our blessings, we will suffer persecution for being Jesus’ disciples. The persecution can come from your own family, co-workers, false religions, the community or oppressive governments. History has shown us that many people in this world hate Jesus so much that they will even murder His followers. During these times (even unto death), let us all remember God’s other promises to never leave us, to always protect us from evil and to give us great joy and peace in His presence.

Though, in this world, we will can be greatly blessed by God, let us remember that this world is not our home and that persecution will sometimes accompany our blessings because not everyone loves Jesus.

Paul wrote, in 2 Timothy 2:12, “If we endure, we will also reign with him.” Let us rejoice in our sufferings because in the same way they persecuted Jesus and the prophets and they are achieving for us eternal rewards!


REFLECTION  

Have you suffered persecution for being a follower of Jesus?


?ACTION  

  1. Ask God to forgive those who persecute you and pray for their salvation.
  2. Pray for the Christians around the world suffering for Jesus.
  3. Remember what the great missionary Jim Elliot wrote, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain that which he cannot lose.”

One Year Reading Plan

Leviticus 6:1-7:27, Mark 3:7-30, Psalm 37:1-11, & Proverbs 10:3-4. Click here to read online.