There are times throughout life when we feel so alone, and that God seems so far away. When we are persecuted or in distress we then second guess ourselves as to why this is happening, after all we love the Lord. Therein lies the answer! Scripture teaches us persecution will come our way when we love and serve the Lord, in fact if we are truly are in Christ then persecution should be expected. Timothy spoke of the persecution one suffers, but also that no matter what the Lord will deliver us just as He did Timothy (2 Timothy 3:10-12) But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience, Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me. Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
At the stoning of Paul the disciples shed a light on the importance of suffering tribulations, and that we endure them to enter the kingdom of God! (Acts 14:21-23) And when they had preached the gospel to that city, and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch, Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God. And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed.
Now that we know persecution and tribulations will come our way as we bear the name christian, it should give us a comfort to know we are not suffering wrongfully, and that we are not separated from Christ no matter how defeated we may feel if we are doing His will (Romans 8:35-39) Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us. For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
In the parable of the sower and the seed we learn there will be those who once they are persecuted will fall away from the faith, but God expects us to be strong in Him and to not fold at the smallest of troubles that come our way. Remember we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us! (Matthew 13:18-23) Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower. When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side. But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it; Yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while: for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.
We can find strength and comfort in our Lords own words as He says: “Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me. These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”(John 16:32,33).