Journal Entry // October 6, 2022
Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, (ESV)2 Timothy 3:12
The writings of Paul are continually reminding us that the Christian life is one filled with trouble, heartache, and adversity. He has a continual theme of persecution nagging the believer as they walk through this world. The Bible continually teaches us that the world is not our true friend seeking to build us up and encourage us in the faith. It is clear in its teaching that our enemy (the world, the flesh, and the devil) are only seeking to destroy us as we are the representation of Christ on earth. And with all these warnings from God’s word we still seek to befriend the world. We still seek to be known by the world. We still seek to be approved by the world. We continually forget that all who strive to live a godly life will be at enmity with the world. The world will always hate the godly.
I find myself caught in this trap more often than I care to admit or think about. Truly, I find myself seeking those very things that the world is pushing. Those things that are leading me away from godliness and the faith. The message the world sends is subtle and deceptive. This message is seemingly innocent. The fruit from the forbidden tree is pleasing to my eyes and offers knowledge. So I compromise a little here and I compromise a little there. Each time I compromise I take in a little more of the poison.
Why do I continually compromise and bend the truth of God’s word in my heart? Simply speaking, it is out of a wrongly placed fear. It comes from a fear of the world. A fear of damaging my reputation. A fear of being marginalized. A fear of being isolated. A fear of losing material wealth. A fear of being laughed at. A fear of not fitting in. This is a misplaced set of fears. The Bible tells me that all of these fears will become reality to some degree if I am to pursue godliness and righteousness.
The Christian life is not to be measured against the standard of the world. Success in the eyes of the world is not success in the eyes of Christ. My success in this life is measured in faithfulness and humility and steadfast obedience. My aim and motivation is to love the Lord with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength as I love people. As I do this continually and consistently, the world will persecute me. I will encounter opposition. The world is set against the righteous and holy. The mark of faithful obedience to Christ is consistently met with opposition. Yet in this struggle, there is peace and rest and comfort found only in Christ. The walk is still strenuous but I am not walking alone. I have my Savior and I have my faithful friends to encourage and challenge me to keep pursuing godliness through the power and strength of Christ.