The Bible reads, “Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace. And count the patience of our Lord as salvation, just as our beloved brother Paul also wrote to you according to the wisdom given him, as he does in all his letters when he speaks in them of these matters. There are some things in them that are hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures. You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, take care that you are not carried away with the error of lawless people and lose your own stability. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen” (1 Peter 4:14-18, ESV).

Peter probably wrote these words from within the confines of a Roman prison. He knew that Nero would eventually call for his head. Christians faced pressure from within and from outside the church. False teachings and political persecution abounded. But Peter refused to lose faith. He had done so in his earlier days. And now, under the empowerment of the Spirit, he refused to deny Christ in another dark time.

Christ followers hold to the conviction that the enemy can take everything but that which matters the most – their souls. Therefore, take everything from them – even their lives – but they refuse to fight back. And by not fighting, the battle is actually won. God’s Kingdom shows, over and over, to be upside down in so many different ways. In times of comfort she tends to grow apathetic but in times of intense pressure she awakens. For every Stephen, there emerges a Saul.


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