Verse of the Day Devotion: Romans 8:18
“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” – Romans 8:18
I am sure that we all suffer or have suffered to some degree due to our Christianity. We may not have to endure what the apostles or those Christians today who live in countries that are hostile to the Christian faith. However, we will no doubt experience persecution for our faith in Christ. Paul put it this way in his second letter to Timothy. “Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” 2 Timothy 3:12.
Christian persecution in this country is growing fast. In fact, many Christian organizations are persecuted by those who disagree with them regarding their faith. There are colleges and universities that do not allow Christian organizations to have meetings on campus, however, it is OK for anti-Christian groups to meet regularly. A law school in New York required students to work with a law firm over the summer, however, law firms that held firm to Christian beliefs were not acceptable and several students who selected them were forced to find another firm to work with. In Canada, it is illegal to talk or give a speech or sermon that states homosexuality or transgenderism is an abomination, in fact, there are heavy fines and possible jail time for those who do. The same idea is being talked about by the democratic presidential candidates, in fact, one has said if he becomes president, if they do not declare LGBTQ acceptable to God, a church may lose its tax-exempt status.
What is interesting is that no other religion is being spoken of in this way. Even Islam, which kills those who practice homosexuality are not being targeted. This, to me, makes it pretty clear that Christianity is under attack and ultimately Christians. Abortion is another issue that causes people to hate Christians. Many believe that the murdering of an unborn child is not only acceptable, but also pleasing to God.
There are many groups forming here and all over that will attack and punish those who do not agree with them, and this definitely includes those who live out and speak out about their Christian faith when it comes to LGBTQ, abortion, or any other issues in which the disagree with us.
We must understand this will occur, and we must stand strong and not compromise when it does. In so doing, we will show our love for God in standing up against evil. James put it like this. “Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. James 1:12. Paul wrote to the Corinthians, “And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Romans 5:3-5 And this hope is looking forward to the day when He returns and delivers us from this world.
As our focus verse says, “For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.” Romans 8:18. Times like this are hard, but they are nothing compared to our new life, which is an eternal one. So, look at these trials and tribulations as of no consequence, in fact, pray for those who perpetrate them on you. Their future, if nothing changes, will be eternal torment. “You have heard that it was said, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? If you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? Therefore, you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Matthew 5:43-48. Remember, Jesus while on the cross prayed that those who put Him on the cross be forgiven for they know not what they do. Many who persecute Christians really do not understand the reality they truly live in. We need to present the truth when we can and pray always for them to come to the knowledge of the truth. Who knows what changes this will bring about in their lives. They may even give their lives to Christ as we have.
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries, Inc.