“Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.” (Matthew 24:9)
All too often in these days of “easy believism” and the erroneous “peace and prosperity” teaching, we hear someone say, “Once you become a Christian, all your problems will be over.” It is doubtful that anyone really believes such a statement, much less experiences it. Certainly the Israelites who had just been miraculously delivered from bondage didn’t experience it.
Of course, this concept is not biblical. In fact, the Bible teaches quite the opposite. Christ promised, “Ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake” (Matthew 10:22). He, Himself, would have many problems. “If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you” (John 15:18). Later, after experiencing many problems, John wrote, “Marvel not, my brethren, if the world hate you” (1 John 3:13).
These problems may take the form of general troubles that come from living in a sinful, cursed world; specific afflictions, which God allows in our lives to bring about His purpose; or discipline for personal sin, as well as direct persecution from without.
While troubles will come, all is not lost! Christ promised, “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 16:33). Through Him we have the strength to meet every difficulty of this life with peace, good cheer, and victory. Through Him we also receive the promise that throughout eternity “there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away” (Revelation 21:4). JDM