1 Thessalonians 3:3-4
But you know that we are destined for such troubles. Even while we were with you, we warned you that troubles would soon come-and they did, as you well know. NLT
My Father in Heaven,
Mighty is Your name! Why am I so surprised by the pressure and pain that pursues me? Your enduring Word warns me repeatedly to expect problems. When I signed up to follow Your Son, Jesus Christ, I should have well known there would be a price to pay. Believers everywhere are tolerating terrible trials because of Him. In fact, in view of the rest of the world, my troubles are tiny.
Many people are following in the footsteps of Your dear Son, Jesus, receiving the same harsh treatment from their countrymen that He received from the Jews. Just as prophets in the past braved abuse and whips, chains and dungeons, and were stoned and slaughtered, so are 21st century believers living under brutal regimes. Missionaries serving in cruel countries are being heckled and chased out of town by people who have made a career of opposing Christ.
Help me remember the exemplary conduct of those heroes of faith. When the heat is turned up, help me to behave in a manner worthy of Your call by standing up for what I believe in so that I will not discredit the Blessed Message of Christ. Convinced of what I believe, and confident in whom I believe, I will not shrink back or shy away from unfriendly fire. With my mind set on You, my courage will show them that they are full of hot air and up against a fearsome force. By Your strong hand, surely I will be victorious and they will be defeated.
Lord, train me in deep wisdom to understand these hard truths and harsh realities so that I will not falter or fail You when the fiery darts come my way. I long to glorify our family name. Amen.
What trouble is chasing you? Don't let it alarm you, and don't give up on God. Set your mind on Christ. Look at the heroes of faith who endured extreme hardships. If they did it, you and I can too!
Recently, I had the honor of meeting and hearing Xianzhi ''Sarah'' Liu share her story. It enlightened my mind and enlivened my heart to the horrific persecution people are facing in the world today. She was beaten and imprisoned for six years in China. Sarah's Trail of Blood is a powerful dramatization of what happened to this courageous woman of God because of her faith in Jesus Christ. You'll be inspired by her story in this short video. (January 12, 2010) Watch Sarah's Trail of Blood
Jesus said, "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you."
2 Timothy 3:12
In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.
1 John 3:13
Do not be surprised, my brothers, if the world hates you.