No one enjoys being mistreated. It hurts physically and emotionally, leaving deep wounds and lasting scars. It is hard having faith as you endure constant persecution for your belief in Jesus Christ. You may be told that what you believe is blasphemy when you know in your heart it is Truth. Being confronted by non-believers who attack you and even threaten your life is difficult. It is especially hard when other family members and people once considered your friends are the ones afflicting you. You may risk losing your possessions, your marriage and family, your status in society, and even your life. Jesus told his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self?” Luke 9:23-26. Jesus never said that being a Christian would be easy.
There is one who understands your pain. He has suffered as you do now. “He was despised and forsaken of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and like one from whom men hide their face. He was despised, and we did not esteem Him” Isaiah 53:3. This man is Jesus. He was afflicted, oppressed, and smitten by God. He carried your griefs, your sorrows, was crushed for your iniquities, and led like a lamb to the slaughter. By His scourging, you are healed. It pleased the Lord to crush Him, put Him to grief, and to make Him a guilt offering so you may have eternal life. Jesus did this all for you. Now He wants you to be a living sacrifice for Him.
Jesus knows His followers will suffer persecution. As Christians, we do not identify ourselves in the world. Our identify is in Jesus Christ. Therefore, the world hates us because we belong to Him. We are called to be content in hardships, insults, persecutions and calamities. When we are weak, Jesus make us strong. Matthew 5:44 says we should love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. Matthew 5:10-12 says, “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when men cast insults at you, and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely, on account of Me. Rejoice, and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” Praise God He gives us the hope of heaven and the promise of great reward!
Pray this Prayer: “Dear Jesus, thank you for facing persecution so that I may have eternal life. Help make me strong when I am weak as I face hardship for my beliefs. May it please you when I suffer on your behalf. All glory, honor and praise to you. Amen.”