2 Peter: Day

Gripping his promise in persecution

by

Today's Text: 2 Peter 3:1-7, Psalm 55:19, Matthew 5:10-12

 Text: 2 Peter 3:1-7, Psalm 55:19, Matthew 5:10-12

Many of us in our Christian walk will be challenged in our faith by another. It might be a well-intentioned inquiry of why we believe the way we do, or a direct attack on our beliefs spurred by something we’ve done or said.

Christianity is not a placid faith. It does not take the form of a belief that most are willing to let slide or stand up for. It’s uncomfortable. It makes people mad. It stirs up anger. We read many times in the Bible about persecution of Christians who walk with our Lord – yet, we are encouraged to keep walking with our eyes focused on God. Not to lose focus on the “poor me” complex.

“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Matthew 5:10-12 NIV)

My pastor told us the other Sunday in church that he often gets requests from the city to come and open events with a prayer. First comes the praise: “We know you would do such a wonderful job” and  “You come so highly recommended.”  Then the request turns to apparent fear of the power of our Lord:

“We’d prefer when you pray if you not mention the name Jesus. God is fine.”

He then tells them they have the wrong pastor.

It’s been a long time since the Bible initially made the promise of Jesus’ return. As a people of instant gratification and quick results, we tend to forget that God keeps His promises on His time.

He will come.

We know in the meantime to expect the questions, the mockery, the unbelief of others. We are challenged to stand firm in the face of this. Even when our faith seems on the wild side of reality. Even when the world’s offerings make more sense than what our God says. Even then, we know God is who He says He is, He does what He says He will.

Forever.

“God, who is enthroned from of old, who does not change, he will hear them and humble them, because they have no fear of God.” (Psalm 55:19 NIV)

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  • Vanderbilt Wife

    Oh, I love how Peter puts this! "I want to develop a genuine understanding with a reminder" (HCSB). It's so easy to develop an entry-level faith. But Peter desired for Christ's followers to truly understand his words.

    In all this waiting, I think even as Christians we can start to doubt His return. Maybe YOU never have … but occasionally I wonder, WHAT IF? But then I remember His power and how I believe the Truth of His Word. And so, I trust. I think every generation in time since His first coming has probably thought it was the end times. (Think: Crusades. Black Plague. The Renaissance. The Holocaust. Genocides. Persecution. Wars.) It's easy to become convinced we're SO right that this is the End Times. Maybe it is, maybe it's not. But we wait with patience and endure mockery by our culture even so. Beautiful promises in Psalm 55:19, too.

    • Diana_Stone

      I have these thoughts. It's hard not to – in an age where so much is done by us. Created by us. Dictated by us. There are times it seems crazy to think of a "Higher Power" holding it all together, and yet when it all comes down to it, I can't be led to any other answer than God.

      Thank you for your honesty in this – it helps to know others wonder at times too.

  • Bullzeye316

    The sad thing is in this time, in this world, is if you believe in JESUS and he is your all the light the way your called a JESUS FREAK. Your judged way to harshly, and you know what, I've never doubted my faith but I have let those non-believers and false teachers make me think that maybe religion is a keep it to yourself kinda thing. Well not anymore! Especially this past year I have been 100% more dedicated to JESUS. I want to actually learn HIS word. I want to read the bible. I know Jesus is the light, he is the way, he is the KING OF KINGS, and I will fight to follow. I will fight for his love. I thank you for this community because it's given me the opportunity to start understanding the word. I read the bible and I understand it, but it's amazing because I come to this site and to instagram and see all the ladies post and get SO much more then I got myself when I read it alone. This is absolutely amazing! I'm so thankful!

    • eradical84 (EllenMR)

      Bless you Bullzeye! I love how you said: "I will fight to follow. I will fight for His love." How beautiful!! How inspiring Sister! Keep fighting the GOOD fight! :)

    • Catherine

      Thank you for this post! Took the words right from my mouth and the encouragement was much needed. I'm fresh out of high school and have struggled this past year as being labled the Jesus Freak. Made me think I was doing something wrong in being vocal about God's love & power. But your words were SO empowering and just the reminder I needed. Thanks!!!

  • Today in Matthew 5 verse 11 grabbed my attention. It’s my PROMISE to claim. The verse says this: Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.

    My Take-Away Today: I’m so glad these verses are in the Bible. They bring me great peace. God calls me blessed. I find it interesting that this word means highly favored and honored. God says this is my true status when I’m dealing with the harsh realities of the world. The Lord wants me to rejoice because my reward in heaven is great.

    My prayer Today: Father, thank You for Your love and grace in my life. How good it feels to know I’m blessed. Lord help me to remember that I’m Your blessed treasure. In Jesus Name, Amen.

  • Throughout today's devotional I kept coming back to John 15:17-18 "These things I command unto you, that ye LOVE one another. If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you." I love the words of Christ here!

    You're right. Christianity is not placid faith. No one said it could be a comfortable and carefree lifestyle! In fact Jesus clearly stated otherwise. There are going to be people that mock you. They will pressure you to join them in their ways. Why? Because they look at your life and see a difference. (or at least they should) And that's convicting!

    May we life lives worthy of being called "Little Christs"!

    • Angela

      live*

    • Candacejo

      Love your blog Angela! And you are right, it's usually conviction that causes persecution. If only they would give in to the calling of Christ then they too could live this wonderful overcoming life as Paul did. One day a persecutor, the next day an overcomer!

    • janelle

      Ooh love this! And you're so right to connect this to the "love one another" verse. That's the part that always speaks to those looking on, in persecution … when Christians love their persecutors, and do good to those who mistreat them – that's the biggest silent testimony.

    • Diana Stone

      Perfect verse with this!!

  • Charmaine

    Years ago I attended achurch that I loved but had to leave because I moved. Anyway the Pastor used to say” If your walking this life as a Christian and every thing in it is fine, no problems or issues then you need to check who your walking with!” Meaning walking this live as a Christian you will never be comfortable because this is a fight, a fight for life. Just as Diane said ” Christianity is not a placid faith”. And when we get complacent in our walk there is a problem with who your walking with.

    Jesus never said this would be a cake walk oe a easy walk in fact Matt 5: 10-12 says it all. He already knew that we would have to content with people who want to mock and persecute us. So when it happens don’t get angry or mad, heck don’t even be surprise when it comes from family.

    Just know that it will come so always be ready! Look at it as a great opportunity to witness for Christ and the Holy Spirit will give you what to say. (Speaking from experience.)

    Ladies thank you all for your prayers and your encouraging words a few days ago. I really appreciated it and believe that God HAS already fixed everything for His Glory. I’m just going to study and stay focused on Him.

    Have a great day.

    • Diana Stone

      Beautifully said Charmaine! Love this " when we get complacent in our walk there is a problem with who your walking with." Amen.

  • "Christianity is not a placid faith. It does not take the form of a belief that most are willing to let slide or stand up for. It’s uncomfortable. It makes people mad. It stirs up anger."

    Diana, this one sentence brought it ALL together for me this morning. Thank you.

    I don't even have to say a single word about Jesus for the mockers and scoffers to release their venomous contempt. But, It has nothing to do with me. It's true, Jesus makes people feel uncomfortable and angry. Jesus never let people feel comfortable in their sin. When he met them (in scriptures), they were confronted with their sin head-on and given a choice to either stay or turn from sin and follow Him. When people love their sin enough to stay in it they would rather forget, pretend and deny Jesus even exists.

    For this very reason, merely having Jesus's presence in my life will either attract or repel people from me. My only prayer this morning that my life simply reflects the saving gospel of Jesus. That His love, acceptance and grace would shine bright and draw people closer to HIM.

    • jesusgirl71

      Amen! My prayer as well.

    • LaurenC_

      So true, JuneBug. Having Jesus's presence in my life – really showing his presence in my life through my choices & actions – either attracts or repels people from me. Sometimes, the attracting and/or repelling is what I want. I can clearly see that certain persons either need to be in my life or get out of my life. But (person question here) how do you handle it when people you love, people you are close to and have been for some time, people you want in your life & who you count on — how do you handle it when you see them withdrawing from you because of Jesus's presence in your life? I'm playing catch up on this plan so I hope you see this comment. Would love anyone's perspective on this issue as well.

  • Good morning ladies!
    Probably all of us, at some point or another, have had to endure mocking or belittling for our faith. I've lost many "friends" due to following Christ, and looking back, it was always for the better; those friends were not true nor right for me. In times of suffering, I always remember that He has placed me where I'm supposed to be- and that in due time, I will see the goodness that resulted from it. Praise God, for always being faithful to those who follow Him! Praise Him for helping us know what is right.

  • Anne Elizabeth Horyza

    Yes and Amen! So just for today and always..I will “rejoice! And be glad.” It is love that I want to share and for others to see.. That..to me.. is the appropriate and convincing fact of my faith and how I believe. It’s God’s love that will draw them to Him.

  • Candacejo

    Wonderful lesson, wonderful comments! The song, In Christ Alone just keeps rolling over in my head as I read this lesson. I know it is long but maybe someone hasn't heard it or just needed to read these words…no matter what kind of persecution we may face, all of our hope and our help is in Christ alone!

    He has faced it all BEFORE us! And He overcame it all so we can overcome!

    You can listen to the song here…blessings friends! http://youtu.be/2qcPMQnXzNU

    No guilt in life, no fear in death
    this is the pow'r of Christ in me
    from life's first cry to final breath
    Jesus commands my destiny

    No pow'r of hell, no scheme of man
    can ever pluck me from His hand
    'til He returns or calls me home
    here in the pow'r of Christ I'll stand

    In Christ alone

    I find my strength, I find my hope
    I find my help, in Christ alone
    when fear assails, when darkness falls
    I find my peace, in Christ alone

    I give my life, i give my all
    I sing this song, to Christ alone
    The king of kings, the lord of lords
    All heaven sings, to Christ alone

    • Bullzeye316

      LOVE THIS SONG!

    • eradical84 (EllenMR)

      Thanks Candacejo, I don't know a lot of Christian music and love your lyrics and links! (Makes it easy even for me to find…haha)
      It just lightens my heart! :)

  • I like what Carolynmimi said from the Message,”Hold your mind in a state of undistracted attention.” Wow! This is what I want to do! I want to be so tuned in to His Word and His Voice that I will know the Truth and speak the Truth when I am questioned. No doubts! This makes me want to memorize scripture even more! Lord, when the world is pressing from every side help us as SRT women to not be distracted and speak the truth we have learned. So thankful today for studying with all of you today. I pray God would seal His truth in our hearts! Have a wonderful day ladies!

  • Great thought for times like these…remembering God’s promises through the hard times. He doesn’t change, He sees all, and He is in control. Thanks!

  • Graphics

    One of the things that we see often in Scripture is reminders just like today. The reason for reminders is so that we will be in a state of constant readiness. On alert, so to speak. We need to be ready to defend our faith-when asked. We must live ready for Christ's return. The Israelites habitually remembered all that God had brought them through. This reminded them to be ready. We, as believers, need to consistently remember the cost of our salvation and be ready.

  • rocknitat55

    What a thought provoking, challenging, study for me this morning. I love Matthew 5:10-12, “Blessed are you when others revile you”…. for Christs sake. In my visual mind I can see Christ standing in quiet confidence. Knowing who He is, and who’s he is.
    As Christians we will and do face much, but it is this quiet confidence that guides my actions and reactions when confronted. Although we are not wimps as Christians we are not thugs either.

    But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and conte ntions, and strivings about the law; for. they are unprofitable and vain. Titus 3:9
    Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly
    edifying which is in faith. 1 Tim 1:4

    The above scriptures were given to me when I entered ministry school and I have never forgotten them. I remember my Pastor stressing that it is always about the ‘message’ not the ‘messenger’.
    Jesus must never get lost in the translation of ideas! In picketing, in yelling, in name calling.

    I like how your Pastor handled the situation. With firm confidence. Please believe me I am not a wimp,but over the years I ve learned to ask myself WWJD, what do I hope to achieve. If at the end I can’t hear Jesus say you are blessed (matt 5:10-12) then I have achieved nothing.

    Dear father as I studied this morning, Peter denying you came to mind (Jn 18:15-27). How many time have I denied you? In word, in deed. Father forgive me. Father when faced with advirsity and ridicule because of my faith let me always put on the whole armor of God. Let it not be about me, but you. For the battle is not mine but thine oh Lord. Amen

    Much love ladies on this wonderful Wednesday !

  • I remember reading about martyrs and bold Christians when I was a kid, and thinking what a joy it would be to stand strong to uphold the honour of the Lord in the face of torture and even death. They were my heroes, these people who faced the lions and mad emperors and still declared "Jesus is Lord!" I don't face lions or anything like that … but I have definitely come across my share of persecution-mosquitoes … I think Peter refers to them as scoffers (v3). They're sneaky – so small, I don't really think about them as persecution – and I just tune them out. But it's just as important to be faithful to the Lord in the face of small persecutions as it is with big ones. And if I give in to little ones, thinking they don't really count, there's no way I will stand against big ones.

  • Carolynmimi

    Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking. (2 Peter 3:1 NIV)

    Maybe, it was because it was the first verse in the reading, but I was struck by Peter's purpose in reminding us of who Christ is, who we are in Christ and who has the whole future in His hands, he wrote all of this to stimulate wholesome thinking. Or in NET translation: Stir up a pure mind Or in The Message: hold your minds in a state of undistracted attention…Peter knew that the world would press in from every side, challenging, attacking, and even trying to get us to water down Truth, so reminders are necessary, frequently. Why? So WE can keep a clear head and remain true.

  • "keep our eyes focused on God and not the poor me complex" just had to chuckle when I read the last part because it's so true!
    How often do I get offended when someone contradicts me or questions my beliefs? I must remember to focus and stand my ground for my Lord is my REWARD!

  • Jennifer

    Reading today's passages reminded me of a time in college when I was a relatively new believer and I ran away from an opportunity to stand up for my faith because I was being harshly judged and slandered by other students. That's something that sticks with me as a reminder to be bold for Christ and to be so thankful that my faith, over the years, has matured. Thank you Lord for Your promises, that for Your children, our "reward is great in heaven". Jesus, I pray that You will give me the strength to stand firm in Your Truth until the day of Your return…our until You call me home. Amen.

  • tabithahannasmith

    Morning all!
    The section that got my attention this morning was v1-2. Peter isn't writing brand new truths to his readers, he is refreshing their memories and reminding them of the things that they have already been taught by God, through the OT prophets and the NT apostles.
    We need reminding, often, about the things we have already been taught. How quickly I can forget and get pulled in the wrong way by the world! Our thinking needs to be stimulated in the right way; we need to be reading, reflecting, and remembering every day.
    What a great reminder today!

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