Today’s Scripture: Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution. 2 Timothy 3:12

I wouldn’t trade anything in the world for the blessings God has given me. Before I came to Chicago, everyone told me, “If you go to Chicago, you will be blowing your life. As a politician, you might have done something great, but now you’re blowing your life.” I’ve even had church people tell me, “Pastor, you’ll never have anything once you enter the ministry.” Years later, many of the people who said I’d never make it, never made it themselves. Through it all, God has blessed me and my family so much.

If we serve Christ, we will suffer painful persecution. People will turn against us after we’ve helped them. They will criticize us and spread rumors about us. But the blessings of service far outweigh the hardships. During the hard times, we grow. God gives us His grace for our journey. We’re assured of victory through Christ, no matter what anyone does to us. What more do we need?

It may look like things aren’t going well in your life right now. Maybe you’re a new Christian who has just started to experience persecution for your faith. You can’t figure out why people are so hostile to the gospel message. Remember today’s Scripture passage – “. . . All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” But be sure to keep the blessings in mind, too. Long after the naysayers have spoken, God’s Word stands true—God is for you, and no one can stand against you.

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder