Is There a Catfish in Your Tank?
Do not marvel, my brethren, if the world hates you. (1 John 3:13)
I heard a story about some fish suppliers who were having problems shipping cod from the East Coast. By the time it reached the West, it was spoiled. They froze it, but by the time it arrived, it was mushy. So they decided to send it alive, but it arrived dead. They tried sending it alive again, but with one difference: they included a catfish in each tank. You see, catfish are the natural enemies of cod. By the time the cod arrived, they were alive and well because they had spent their trip fleeing the catfish.
Maybe God has put a catfish in your tank to keep you alive and well spiritually. It’s called persecution. Maybe there’s a person at work who always has eight hard questions for you every morning regarding spiritual things. Maybe it’s that neighbor who is giving you a hard time for your faith in Jesus. Maybe it’s a spouse or a family member who doesn’t believe. You are wondering why this is happening. It is like that catfish. That person is keeping you on your toes.
Shortly before His crucifixion, Jesus told the disciples, “If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you aren’t of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you” (John 16:19).
God will allow persecution in the life of the believer. If you’re experiencing persecution, here are two things to remember: First, persecution confirms that you are a child of God. Second, persecution causes you to cling more tightly to Jesus.
When you are suffering persecution for your faith, remember, this world isn’t your real home anyway. If you persevere with a steady, peaceful spirit, trusting in Jesus to help you, your welcome into heaven will be more glorious than you can imagine.