When many are deceived, we should thereby be awakened to look to ourselves. And the disciples of Christ, if it be not their own fault, may enjoy holy security and peace of mind, when all around is in disorder. But they must take heed that they are not drawn away from Christ and their duty to him, by the sufferings they will meet with for his sake. They shall be hated of all men: trouble enough! Yet the work they were called to should be carried on and prosper. Though they may be crushed and borne down, the gospel cannot be. The salvation promised is more than deliverance from evil, it is everlasting blessedness. (Matthew Henry)
Do not worry about what to say or how to say it. At that time you will be given what to say.
“When they bring you, betrayed, into court, don’t worry about what you’ll say.
When the time comes, say what’s on your heart—
the Holy Spirit will make His witness in and through you. (Mark 13:11)
Talk and act like a person expecting to be judged by the Rule that sets us free.
For if you refuse to act kindly, you can hardly expect to be treated kindly.
Kind mercy wins over harsh judgment every time. (James 2:12-13)
All this trouble is a clear sign that God has decided to make you fit for the kingdom.
You’re suffering now, but justice is on the way.
When the Master Jesus appears out of heaven in a blaze of fire with His strong angels, He’ll even up the score by settling accounts with those who gave you such a bad time.
His coming will be the break we’ve been waiting for.
Those who refuse to know God and refuse to obey the Message
will pay for what they’ve done.
Eternal exile from the presence of the Master and His splendid power is their sentence. But on that very same day when He comes, He will be exalted by His followers
and celebrated by all who believe—and all because you believed what we told you.
(2 Thessalonians 1:5-10)
Hope is faith holding out its hand in the dark. ~George Iles
Love is the Hand of God taking hold of yours.
Love never dies. Inspired speech will be over some day; praying in tongues will end; understanding will reach its limit. We know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete. But when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be canceled. When I was an infant at my mother’s breast, I gurgled and cooed like any infant. When I grew up, I left those infant ways for good. We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us! But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love.
And so you will bear testimony to Me.
But make up your mind not to worry beforehand how you will defend yourselves.
For I will give you words and wisdom
that none of your adversaries will be able to resist or contradict. (Luke 21:13-15)
Meanwhile, live in such a way that you are a credit to the Message of Christ. Let nothing in your conduct hang on whether I come or not. Your conduct must be the same whether I show up to see things for myself or hear of it from a distance. Stand united, singular in vision, contending for people’s trust in the Message, the good news, not flinching or dodging in the slightest before the opposition. Your courage and unity will show them what they’re up against: defeat for them, victory for you—and both because of God. There’s far more to this life than trusting in Christ. There’s also suffering for him. And the suffering is as much a gift as the trusting. You’re involved in the same kind of struggle you saw me go through, on which you are now getting an updated report in this letter.
“When He comes,
He’ll expose the error of the godless world’s view of sin, righteousness, and judgment: He’ll show them that their refusal to believe in Me is their basic sin;
that righteousness comes from above, where I am with the Father,
out of their sight and control;
that judgment takes place
as the ruler of this godless world is brought to trial and convicted. (John 16:8-11)
Settle it therefore in your hearts,…. Resolve on this in your minds,
and let it be a rule never to be departed from:
not to meditate before what you shall answer; not to sit down, and study a form of words, and scheme of things, what to reply to the ensnaring questions,
that may be thought would be asked, by kings and rulers,
or any of the judges before whom they should be brought; it being natural for persons, especially of a low life, to be timorous and fearful, to appear before such great personages, and to be thoughtful and solicitous what to say to any question that may be asked them; (Gill’s Exposition of the Entire Bible)