All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution — 2 Tim. 3:12.
Opposition is to be expected, and will, doubtless, continue until we finish our course in death. To submit patiently to this opposition is to sacrifice our own natural preferences for the friendship and the pleasures of the present life, and to endure hardness as good soldiers for the Truth's sake, in whatever shape that hardness may come, in our effort to do the Lord's will and work of advancing the interests of His Kingdom. To be really in the Lord's service involves, first, the careful and continual study of God's Plan; second, the imbibing of its spirit; leading, thirdly, to an enthusiastic zeal for its accomplishment, and to activity to the extent of ability in its service, at whatever cost or sacrifice it may require—Z '03, 164, 165 (R 3199).
Those in Christ Jesus are the consecrated. Their consecration makes them sacrificers for righteousness amid a world wherein the advantages are on the side of unrighteousness, and the disadvantages are placed on the side of righteousness. Their course cannot be otherwise than one of persecution from those whose selfishness seems antagonized by the course of the consecrated. Thus all the faithful will be persecuted—P '35, 62.
Parallel passages: Gen. 49:23; Job 12:4, 5; Psa. 11:2; 37:32; 38:20; 44:15-18, 22; Prov. 29:10, 27; Isa. 29:20, 21; 51:12, 13; 59:15; Jer. 20:8; Matt. 5:10-12, 44; 10:16-18, 21-23, 28; 24:8-10; Luke 6:22, 23; John 15:18, 19; 16:1, 2; Acts 28:22; Rom. 8:17, 35-37; 1 Cor. 4:9-13.
Hymns: 304, 47, 114, 134, 302, 312, 322.
Poems of Dawn, 121: Hymn Of The Waldenses.
Tower Reading: Z '12, 323 (R 5116).
Questions: Has godly living brought me persecution this week? What helped or hindered therein? How did I bear it? What were its results?
HYMN OF THE WALDENSES
HEAR, Father, hear Thy faint, afflicted flock
Cry to Thee from the desert and the rock,
While those who seek to slay Thy children hold
Blasphemous worship under roofs of gold;
And the broad, goodly lands with pleasant airs
That nurse the grape and wave the grain, are theirs.
Yet better were this mountain wilderness,
And this wild life of danger and distress—
Watchings by night, and perilous flight by day,
And meetings in the depths of earth to pray—
Better, far better than to kneel with them,
And pray the impious rite Thy laws condemn.
Thou, Lord, dost hold the thunder; the firm land
Tosses in billows when it feels Thy hand.
Thou dashest nation against nation, then
Stillest the angry world to peace again.
Oh, touch their stony hearts who hunt Thy sons—
The murderers of our wives and little ones.
Yet, mighty God, yet shall Thy frown look forth
Unveiled, and terribly shall shake the earth;
Then the foul power of priestly sin and all
Its long-upheld idolatries shall fall.
Thou shalt raise up the trampled and opprest,
And Thy delivered saints shall dwell in rest.