First Epistle to the Thessalonians

What’s the benefit for enduring hardship for Christ?


Holy Spirit Stained Glass

“If we endure hardship in His name, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us” (2 Timothy 2:12)

There are many blessings that belong to those who endure hardship while carrying out the work of Jesus Christ. “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me” (Matthew 5:11). Some of those blessings are for now and others are for later. The grace and joy that are yours in the Holy Spirit are an important part of your present blessings. As wonderful and precious as these blessings are, the future blessings are quite astonishing.

So, as you press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus, brace yourself to suffer affliction from those who oppose Christ. Affliction is a very real part of every believer’s journey here on earth. Affliction includes anything that brings difficulty, tribulation, persecution, or trouble because of your love for Jesus Christ.

The Bible tells us that the early believers celebrated when they were persecuted for their faith. That response is possible because there is an amazing grace that God gives you when you walk through affliction of any kind.

It is a grace that provides you with an inner joy even during the hardest of times. This joy is produced by the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit who puts within you everything you need to endure. The apostle Paul say best in 1 Thessalonians 1:6: “And you became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Spirit:

Beloved, as you continue to faithfully serve, irrespective of your circumstance, the One who reigns over all, you will one day join Him and reign with Him when He returns to establish His kingdom here on earth. Think of it, you will actually reign with the One who now reigns over you.

What a glorious future is ahead of you. No wonder the Bible declares, “What we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory He will give us later” (Romans 8:18).