And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit. —I Thessalonians 1:6
For you, brothers, became imitators of the churches of God in Christ Jesus that are in Judea. For you suffered the same things from your own countrymen as they did from the Jews, who killed both the Lord Jesus and the prophets, and drove us out, and displease God and oppose all mankind, —I Thessalonians 2:14-15
For when we were with you, we kept telling you beforehand that we were to suffer affliction, just as it has come to pass, and just as you know. For this reason, when I could bear it no longer, I sent to learn about your faith, for fear that somehow the tempter had tempted you and our labor would be in vain. —I Thessalonians 3:4-5
But other Jews were jealous; so they rounded up some bad characters from the marketplace, formed a mob and started a riot in the city. They rushed to Jason’s house in search of Paul and Silas in order to bring them out to the crowd… But when the Jews in Thessalonica learned that Paul was preaching the word of God at Berea, some of them went there too, agitating the crowds and stirring them up. —Acts 17:5, 13
I have set the LORD always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure. —Psalm 16:8-9
Followers of Jesus will be opposed. This was the promised fact right from the beginning— “And I will cause hostility between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring” (Genesis 3:15). There is an on-going conflict between the kingdom of darkness and the kingdom of light, between the Kingdom of Satan and the Kingdom of God. Adam and Eve were opposed by Satan in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3) and their first-born, Cain, killed his brother, Abel. We are told that this happened because “Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother’s were righteous. Do not be surprised, my brothers and sisters, if the world hates you” (I John 3:12-13). Again, wickedness has the intent to suppress the truth (Romans 1:18).
The Thessalonians received the Word of God in much affliction and continued to be opposed. Paul had had warned them that this would be the case. And so it is going to be with us as well. Remember, wickedness seeks to suppress the truth. Is wickedness suppressing the truth in your life? Are you speaking the truth to anyone? If not, then more than likely you are being opposed somehow by wickedness. Wickedness distracts from speaking the truth. Consider how this may be happening in your own life. Do not be fooled by this world. The Apostle Paul said that our “Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen” (Galatians 1:3-5). We have been rescued from this present “evil age” and Jesus said that He would be with us always, “to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20). This on-going spiritual conflict will continue until “the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever (Revelation 20:10).
Whether it is the Thessalonians or any other followers of Jesus, there will be opposition. Satan wants to keep us from God’s desires for us. But… our Lord is present with us and we need not be shaken. Instead, let us rejoice and be glad because we are secure in Him!
Dear Father I am so glad I am not in this battle alone. Oh, that I would trust You with all my heart by the power of Your Holy Spirit and in the authority of Your Son Jesus, my King. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=johgSkNj3-A