- Christians have tons of examples of faith, which means they shouldn't worry about little stuff like being persecuted or killed.
- They just need to look to Jesus and keep on running the race. After all, that's what he did. He died on a cross and his followers should be ready to follow in his footsteps if need be.
- Look at persecution as a learning opportunity. Maybe this is God teaching you how to be a better person?
- See, says the author, God is like a dad, which means Christians are his children. Human parents have to lay down the law for their kids every now and then. Even though their rules and punishments seem harsh, parental units just do it because they love you.
- It's the same with God. Maybe by going through all this suffering, Christians will come out more faithful in the end.
- If God didn't care, he'd just let people do whatever they want to. But he does care, so he has to set limits.
- So, keep your head up, the author continues. Don't be like Esau (from back in Genesis), who turned his back on God just to get a decent meal.
- Basically, you need to play the long game—don't give up on God just because you get something good in the short term.
Deuteronomy, Chapter 18, Verse 21-22 21 Should you say to yourselves, “How can we recognize that a word is one the LORD has not spoken?”, 22 if a prophet speaks in the name of the LORD but the word does not come true, it is a word the LORD did not speak. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; do not fear him.
Even saints at times may have spoken presumptuously. Let us meditate on the words of Padre Pio,
“Love and fear must go united together, fear without love becomes cowardice. Love without fear becomes presumption. When there is love without fear, love runs without prudence and without restraint, without taking care where it is going.”
This is the great beauty of the Holy Spirit for it tells us when even a very holy person speaks not every word they speak comes from God. We error sometimes in this way, making men into gods; but a heart that is filled with the spirit of God is filled with quiet joy and even if the person were to be imprisoned, they can find true freedom…