2 Timothy 3:12 (AMP) ” Indeed, all who delight in pursuing righteousness and are determined to live godly
lives in Christ Jesus will be hunted and persecuted [because of their faith].”
Persecution comes when we begin to live a consecrated life for Christ. When we step out from lawlessness and begin to live by the standards our Father requires, we will meet opposition from the world. Now, persecution doesn’t automatically scream being hanged and imprisoned (though these are real and extreme cases), persecution can also be on a smaller scale and can come in many forms:
People you hardly know may label you and call you hurtful names. You may experience mockery from your friends and family members, and hostility from your colleagues at work. All things which stem from someone being opposed to your faith is a form of persecution.
It really hurts! No-one likes to be rejected. People have taken jabs at my faith many times, but we have been warned. The more I grow with God, the more I realize that this journey is not going to be bright and rosy. It will only get harder and the way will keep getting narrower. We must not find it strange when trials and tests come, because all these things happened to Christ.
We have to be determined to find the good through it because God often uses suffering to strengthen our character by teaching us endurance, perseverance and faithfulness. Count it all JOY when you are being persecuted for Christ’s sake and remember that he will never forsake you.
2 Corinthians 4:8-9 (NKJV) “We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed—”
So what can you do when you find yourself in these uncomfortable situations? Let me share with you how I deal with persecution:
Love conquers all.
Love your enemies through your pain. This is hard and almost the opposite of what we really want to do! But we have to step out of our flesh and pride, and put on the lens of love. See past their wrong and have a burden for their soul. Continue to genuinely seek after their good and show them God’s love by being patient with them. Don’t become rude or puffed-up as this will only destroy your witness. Loving them is essential, irrespective of what they do or say to us.
Pray for those who persecute you.
Prayer has an amazing way of changing situations around. God may choose to soften the heart of the person and give you an opportunity to share your faith. Even more-so, prayer will help you to guard your heart and mind against bitter thoughts.
When you stay in close communication with the Father and abide in Him, He will keep you under the shadow of his wings and protect you. As you look to him and wait on him, he will be your strength and bring forth peace and joy in the midst of the pain.
When persecution comes, its not the time to back down. That is the time to stand for Christ like a soldier in an army. Allow the power of the Holy Spirit work through you and stand on the authority of the word to defend your faith. Be bold and unashamed about your faith in Christ, after-all He is the only one who saved your soul.
1 Peter 3:15 (NKJV) “But sanctify the Lord God[in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;..”
One thing we must bear in mind about persecution; It’s not personal, it’s spiritual. It’s not you they are attacking, it’s the Christ in you. Don’t put your light out, keep shining and keep smiling.