Monday, January 24, 2022

Hold Your Ground

“Others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection” (Hebrews 11:35 NKJV).

What group suffers the most persecution in the world today? Christians do. We know that our brothers and sisters in Christ living in nations like China, North Korea, and certain Islamic countries are suffering because their governments don’t allow them to practice their faith.

Religious groups around the world experience persecution, but Christians are the most frequent targets of persecution. Studies on the topic have borne this out.

The Bible does say, however, that “all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution” (2 Timothy 3:12 NKJV). That isn’t a promise we usually want to claim, is it? After all, who wants to experience persecution? Who wants people to jeer, mock, or laughed at them?

Maybe you’ve had this happen recently. Maybe people have made fun of you. They’ve cracked jokes about you when you walked into the room or put you down because of what you believe.

Hold your ground and be a person of faith, because in effect, you’re changing the world. The reality is that often world changers are not appreciated and instead persecuted. The very fact that people identify you first and foremost as a Christian when you walk into a room says something about you. 

So just be a loving Christian. Be a nice person. And make sure that when someone persecutes you, it’s for the right reasons. I’ve seen some Christians who are obnoxious, intrusive, overbearing, and argumentative. Then when someone rejects them, they say, “Thank God! I’m being persecuted for the sake of righteousness. Hallelujah!”

No, people are persecuting them because they’re being jerks. If you’re suffering persecution today, it should be for the sake of righteousness, because you reflect Christ.

Do you set the temperature in the room, or do you merely reflect it? To put it another way, are you changing the world, or is the world changing you?

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