God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you. 2 Thessalonians 1:6
Think about who wrote these words. The same man, Saul of Tarsus, was the terror of the early church. He was on his way to Damascus on a campaign of violence, when Jesus stopped him in his tracks with a blinding light and an audible voice, “Saul, Saul why are you persecuting me?” (Acts 9:4). In other words, “Saul, your real fight is not with Christians or churches. The conflict going on in your soul is a fight against Me!”
The man’s life was completely changed. Saul the persecutor became Paul the Apostle. And now the Spirit of God was giving him these words to write to the church. Have you ever wondered what Paul must have felt as he wrote these words: “formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy… (1 Tim. 1:13)? In effect, Paul was saying, “I deserved judgment, but God showed me mercy, and His mercy has changed my life!”
That is the power of the gospel. This is the same gospel that we believe and that we proclaim. It is the gospel by which we are saved. It is good news, not only for you, but for every person you know and for every person in your community.
Take a moment to pray for someone who seems “beyond the gospel” to you.