So persecution is good?

Hey, thanks again for sending in questions related to our recent sermons. Well, this last week in the book of Mark, we came across a section that talked about persecution, and then we looked at other verses in Scripture that really instruct us to rejoice when we face persecution. So the question this week is persecution is a good thing? Question Mark if we’re supposed to rejoice when we face persecution, does that mean persecution is good? And the answer is, I believe, really similar to what we read about any type of suffering.

Romans Romans Five, for instance, tells us to rejoice when we face suffering because suffering produces perseverance perseverance character character hope. However, never do we see in Scripture anywhere where it says suffering is a good thing. Suffering is something God uses for our good, and it’s therefore something that we can rejoice. God has a plan, has a purpose for it, but that doesn’t mean that it’s a good thing. We are never instructed, for instance, to pray for suffering, but we see very consistently throughout Scripture the way God uses suffering for our good, for others good, for his glory.

And so persecution is, of course, one type of suffering, but we would and therefore we would expect it to follow the same pattern of what God instructs us about suffering. And it does. Lots of we just talked about the many places in Scripture where where we rejoice over suffering. Hebrews Ten, they rejoiced in the plundering of their property. First, Peter says, rejoice insofar as you experienced kind of sufferings that Christ faced.

And so, no, we don’t need to pray for persecution. We can work against persecution. Like I said, I believe Christians should stand up. If the world’s doing something that isn’t for people’s good isn’t going to lead to human thriving, we should stand up and say, hey, I don’t think that’s a good idea. But if when we stand up and say, hey, I don’t think that’s a good idea, let me tell you about Jesus.

If persecution comes, then we rejoice. We don’t complain. And if we do complain, if we do whine when we lose rights, when we lose property, when we lose influence, if we’re complaining about that, then it is an indicator that probably Christ is not what is central in our heart, but rather comfort or security or our possessions are central in our heart. So, no, I would not say persecution is a good thing. I would not say we have to pray for it.

I do not say we have to seek out persecution and try to be persecuted. There’s examples in Acts when Paul is stoned and then he leaves the city. There’s other examples in Acts where Paul stoned and he returns to the city. Both of those are in Acts 14, actually. So we could walk into persecution.

We could walk away from persecution. But when it comes to us, very clearly, we are told to rejoice and the only way that we could do that is if Christ is really central in our hearts. So I will pray for you and you can pray for me. That Christ would be ever more deeply rooted down into our hearts so that we could always rejoice whatever is happening, even persecution. Thanks for sending in the question and we’ll see you see you next time.