February 12, 2024

Looking Beyond Persecution

1 Peter 1:3-9

“Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer.”

—  Revelation 2:10

If I had the privilege of being with Jesus throughout his ministry years, I would have been on the lookout for enemies or traps. He told his disciples, “If they persecuted me [and they did], they will persecute you also” (John 15:20). Like John, Peter had heard Jesus say this, and he wrote about suffering “grief in all kinds of trials” because of belief in Christ. Yet, despite those trials, followers of Jesus would experience victory.

Because of Jesus’ resurrection, all who believe in him have “an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade.” This reality helps to form the foundation of our faith. The knowledge of our eternal inheritance with God outshines the suffering and grief caused by trials and persecutions that we might face in this life.

Peter also says that the trials we can face will prove the genuineness of our faith, the effectiveness of the gospel, and the truth of the written and spoken Word.

The church at Smyrna heard the word about persecution and the subsequent promised victory. Persecution would not be the end.

Since Jesus is God’s promised Messiah to the world, we can boldly proclaim him to all who will listen.

Lord, we worship you as the resurrected, victorious One. Your victory guarantees that all who believe in you will also be victorious. Fill us with joy in the salvation we have already received in you. Amen.

About the author — Evan Heerema

Evan Heerema is a retired pastor who served churches in Washington state and in Michigan. He was also on the teaching staff at Kuyper College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, for ten years. He and his wife are the parents of two daughters and the grandparents of two grandsons.

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