The Joy of Trials
James 1:2 – 2 tells us: “Consider it pure joy, my brothers, when you encounter trials of many kinds, 3because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Allow perseverance to finish its work, so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
Of the 12 apostles (counting Matthias, not Judas) John was the only one to escape a violent death. He did not, however, escape Satan’s wrath. John was seized from the church in Ephesus and imprisoned in Rome. Church history tells us that he was “cast into a large vessel filled with boiling oil.” Miraculously, he was delivered and escaped unharmed.
Afterward he was banished to the island of Patmos where wrote book of Revelation. Like Christ, it’s through personal suffering and great loss that we defeat Satan and gain life giving resurrection power! The only way to avoid this persecution is to avoid Jesus. As Nik Ripken says, “before we can grasp the full meaning of the Resurrection, we first have to experience crucifixion… Ironically, avoiding suffering could be the very thing that prevents us from communing deeply with Christ.”