10 Now you followed my teaching, conduct, purpose, faith, patience, love, perseverance, 11 persecutions, and sufferings, such as happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium and at Lystra; what persecutions I endured, and out of them all the Lord rescued me! 12 Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted (2 Timothy 3).
Of the three cities cited here, Timothy witnessed only Paul’s persecution in the last, Lystra, his hometown, where he first met Paul. He had not yet been with him during his previous persecutions in Pisidian Antioch and Iconium. Yet, he had most certainly heard of them, and thus knew of Paul’s proclivity for trouble. And he joined him anyway.
He joined because he had a “desire to live godly in Christ Jesus,” and if that meant suffering, well then, so be it. Paul was not writing anything here that Timothy did not already know, for he would never had joined with Paul in the first place if he was afraid of suffering for his faith.
Lord, in a time when some Christians are trying to make Christianity cool, help us This Day embrace the fact that persecutions always follow true piety—that living godly lives always invites ungodly opposition. Amen.