Satan roams Earth like a roaring lion seeking whom he may devour. To avoid being eaten, should the lambs who follow the Lion of the Tribe of Judah roar too?
In 58 AD, during the reign of Nero, the apostle Paul wrote his longest letter in our New Testament to the Romans. This might seem strange since Paul had established no church in Rome. His close associates in ministry at Corinth, Priscilla and Aquila, were in Rome. Paul had experienced plenty of persecution, which originated from the Jews who stirred up the Greeks and Romans against the Christians.
Later, when Paul wrote to Timothy from Rome, he thanked God for being rescued from the lion’s mouth, and we know about Daniel being thrown into the lion’s den. We know about the Romans using crucifixion to make public examples of social disrupters. Thus, we can visualize what persecution looked like when Paul wrote and how significant his words were when he said, “All things work for good for those who love God and are working to fulfill his purpose” (Romans 8:28).
Really? Paul said that? Unbelievable. Ridiculed, shunned, beaten, tortured, and thrown to lions, Paul has the audacity to say this was part of God’s plan, working for good. But he was right, and the committed Christians knew it. They had seen the power of God at work through it all. But they needed the reminder.
In America today, the Christian message has been mocked and categorized as hateful and damaging to society, but we’ve not yet been crucified or thrown to lions. That is not saying our persecutions aren’t significant. Sticks and stones break people bones, but words cut to the heart. We too need to be encouraged and reminded that our sacrifices are worth the price, that we need to roar, even if it threatens our lives.
Troubles press us from every direction, but we aren’t crushed. We may not know what to do, yet we’re confident that everything will work out. Enemies may attack us, but God stands with us. We may be knocked to the ground, but God will raise us up. As we make sacrifices for others like Jesus did, his resurrection power lives in us. — 2 Corinthians 4:8–10 The Discussion Bible