“…the etymological meaning of the Greek word for patience – hupomonee – meaning to keep under, that is, to keep the mind under and not be ruled by it…Christian patience is not a suppressing of any powers; rather, it is a balancing of powers. There is another power which enters into the believer’s life to offset the power of persecution. This new power comes to him through faith.” – The Teaching of the Epistle to the Hebrews by Geerhardus Vos

Persecution comes in many forms, from religious or political to social or psychological, but whatever form it comes in it always carries with it a demand for change, rather than a request from growth. Often times we think about overcoming persecution by just pushing through it. You know what I’m saying right, like the goal is to make it through and then breath a sigh of relief after the fact. We treat dealing with persecution likes its a head game. That’s how I often deal with tough situations, but Hebrews and Vos’s thoughts on Hebrews direct us to a new way of thinking about persecution.

Dealing with persecution isn’t about stacking up our mental power so we can overcome it, as much as its about placing our faith in the unseen promises of the Father who said he will never leave or forsake us. Who by the power of His Spirit gives us hope against the power persecuting us. Faith doesn’t offset persecution to the point of doing away with it, but it does demonstrated God’s power in our lives and His ability to sustain us through the persecution. Persecution is an opportunity, not an obstacle. Its is an opportunity to be reminded of Christ our great High Priest who’s gone before us and remained faithful through much greater persecution than that which is coming against us.

I never saw dealing with persecution the way Vos did, as a balancing of powers. What about Vos’s thoughts do you find helpful, where do you think they could be developed into something fuller?