1 Thessalonians 5:18 New Living Translation
“Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.”
The believers in Thessalonica were experiencing persecution for their faith. They were a relatively new church, only being formed 2-3 years prior to this letter from Paul. The persecution was coming from a variety of sources; Jews, Greeks, Romans and was coming in the form of stonings, beatings, crucifixions, torture and death. There is nothing pleasant about any of that, yet scripture clearly states “everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.”(1)
We enjoy many liberties living in the United States and while things could always be better, they could be a whole heck of a lot worse. Just look at what the early church had to go thru. We need to remind ourselves of that when we hit a speed bump in our lives. We tend to think what happens to us is potentially the worst thing that could ever happen, but that isn’t true. I believe that if I wake up in the morning and am still above ground and breathing then it’s already going to be a good day. I am thankful for the life God has given me and though there have been many times that I have tried to mess it up by making poor decisions, the Lord has seen me thru all the mistakes in judgment I have made. I think that is a very healthy, positive, productive way to look at things.
We may be persecuted now or sometime in the future, however, God is in ultimate control of all things so nothing can harm us unless God allows it for some greater purpose. We need to trust in God at all times regardless of our circumstances, for the Lord will work everything for our good according to His will for our lives (Romans 8:28). It may not look that way at the moment, but thank Him anyway and seek the lessons He wishes you to learn from your current situation. Until next time, walk with the King and be a blessing!
NOTE: Persecution - The act or practice of persecuting on the basis of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or beliefs that differ from those of the persecutor. (American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language; Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company; Fifth Edition; 2011.)
(1) 1 Timothy 3:12 also, 1 John 3:13 New Living Translation “So don’t be surprised, dear (Greek) brothers and sisters, if the world hates you.”
Romans 8:28 New Living Translation“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.”