Who are the most persecuted people in the world? Pew Research Center surveys say that Christians are. By persecution, I don’t mean global crises that affect us all. I’m talking about discrimination, verbal assault, physical attacks, and arrests.
Every day our Christian brothers and sisters suffer barbaric treatment in nations all around the world. People hound, torture, and execute them simply for their belief in Jesus Christ.
Make no mistake, persecution is alive and well.
Yet the Bible says, that “everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution” (2 Timothy 3:12 NLT).
We wish that verse wasn’t there, but it is. And it’s true. Every follower of Jesus will, in time, suffer persecution in some form. It might be financial, physical, or verbal.
So, what should we do when it happens?
Jesus said, “God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way” (Matthew 5:11–12 NLT).
By the way, let’s make sure we’re suffering for the right reasons. Sometimes Christians are persecuted not for righteousness’ sake, but because they say or do offensive things. They’re rude and mean. They’re cranky.
And when someone calls them on it, they think, “Praise God! I’m suffering persecution for righteousness’ sake.”
No, they’re suffering persecution because they’re being obnoxious.
So, if you’re experiencing persecution because of your faith in Jesus, take heart. God sees what you’re going through. The Bible tells us, “Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21 NKJV).
And remember this: the Christian faith not only is worth dying for, but it’s also worth living for.
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