If you are familiar with the writings of Paul, you know that he—and the believers of that day—suffered ongoing persecution on account of their faith in Christ. Paul ultimately gave his physical body for the sake of the Gospel. There are many others that have followed suit over time—then as well as now.
Christians around the world are aware of the persecution that goes on in our world today but some of us are so far removed from it that we don’t usually think about it. It’s only when God sends us a personal message, that we begin to understand what our fellow believers are actually going through.
In II Timothy 3:10-12 we read: Now you followed my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, perseverance, persecutions, and sufferings, such as happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium and at Lystra; what persecutions I endured, and out of them all the Lord rescued me! Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.
Two valuable truths can be lifted from this passage. (1) When you succeed in following the Christian lifestyle, you will encounter persecution of some degree in your life; and (2) When you encounter such persecution, God will be there to rescue you in the end.