Vs.6-14: Are not troubled. Suffering is a part of life; it will happen; we have to learn to cope, seek Him, and prepare for it so we can help others and ourselves through it.
· Sorrows literally means, “the spasms from giving birth;” troubles are like being pregnant, with the possibility that the birth will give us both opportunity and pain.
· We are called not to be discouraged when bad things, troubles, disasters, and tribulations happen in the world (2 Chron. 15:6; Isa. 13:8; 19:2; Jer. 51:46; Hos. 13:13). We live in a fallen world where sin has corrupted everything and everyone, so disasters will come. We are called to prepare, plan ahead, and look to Christ as the Deliverer. He is in control!
· They will deliver you was a forewarning that knowing and making Christ known is dangerous; we will face persecution both overtly and/or covertly.
· Persecution was what distinguished the early church from other groups, even many zealous ones who were not persecuted.
· Tribulation means “The Day of the Lord” which will come about in the last days. (This term has been wrought with controversy in the last 100 years. I, for time sake, will not explore all the theories; however we will when we get further in the book of Revelation).
· He who endures. This is also a call, a call to keep you from being spiritually or emotionally defeated when tough times come. We are to always see our Lord and not our situation (John 10:28-29; Rom. 8:31-39). This is an aspect of the character of faithfulness, as it will help you persevere under stress and chaos. Christ keeps us secure, not our environment!
· Offended, betray. Under cultural, family, and physical pressure, many early Christians gave up on the faith; some betrayed others, and some reverted to paganism or Judaism.
· Deceive. This leads to and comes from Apostasy—a blatant disregard for God and His truth as well as the forsaking of His love and acceptance! Love cannot function where God is not honored, sought, and glorified! We cannot be deceived when our eyes are on Christ and His Word!