Christians are expected to face persecution, and this is a reality that can be seen in their daily lives. According to the Apostle Paul, everyone who follows Jesus will be persecuted. Jesus also stated that those who persecute Him will be met with the same fate.
How Jesus Warned Christians
Jesus warned that people in the world would hate Christians due to their opposition to him. If Christians behaved like the world, the world would not be against them. However, since they do not belong to it, they are persecuted. Christians are influenced by various principles, but the world is mainly driven by its love for sin. Christians’ separation from the world causes them to have animosity.
Christians must learn to acknowledge the value of persecution, which is a great spiritual asset. It allows them to share a special bond with the Lord. In addition, Paul talked about various things that he had surrendered for Christ’s sake. He considered his losses as “rubbish” or “dung” (KJV) and looked upon them as a way to share in the sufferings of others. He also noted that his chains were a blessing from God.
Why Persecution is Good For Christians
According to James, Christians can benefit from persecution as it tests their faith and helps them develop their maturity. It also strengthens their character. Christians can show that they are better than their enemies by yielding to persecution. Being hateful can be easy, but being Christlike allows us to receive blessings and kindness in the face of evil. According to Peter, Jesus did not respond to those who hurled insults at him, nor did he make any threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to be judged justly.
The conflict Christians go through can help strengthen the bonds of family and friends, and it can encourage them to reach a higher level of brotherhood. An unpleasant experience can help people develop a greater resolve to love one another even more. They can thank God for his patience and grace during times of distress and pray for those who would abuse or accuse them.
Ways That Christians Can Respond to Persecution
One of the best ways to respond to persecution is to help in any way you can. Many organizations, such as Global Christian Relief, allow Christians an easy way to help those in other countries have a fighting chance against those that are trying to persecute them.
In his letter to the church, Paul encouraged Christians to pray for those who are persecuted and for kings and high-ranking officials. He noted that they should lead a peaceful and dignified life. He also said that God’s desire is for everyone to be saved. We must also pray for our leaders, not just for their good, but for our own.
Every person should be subject to the ruling authorities, which are made by God. According to Romans 13:1-3, everyone who opposes the authority of God will be condemned. Rulers, whether they be the emperor or the governors, should be subject to the Lord’s will. Christians should follow the example of the emperor and punish those who do evil as well as those who do good. They should live as individuals who are free and not use their freedom to hide their evil ways. They should also fear God and honor everyone.
3. Remember Who You Are Fighting
It is not with those on Earth who are fighting against us. In response to the ruling authorities, Christians are against them all, including the powers of darkness in the world. They are also against the forces of evil that are in the heavenly places. One of the first steps in our fight is to pray. It is a spiritual battle, and we must not allow evil to take over our lives.
4. Show Love
According to Jesus, Christians should love their enemies and pray for those who persecute them. They often use the phrase “love the sinner”, but are we really that good at it? Are we doing our best to pray for those who are against us? Do we seek ways to help them or are we just protesting their agenda?
Persecution is not going to go away. Instead of reacting to it negatively, Christians can learn how to respond to it in a way that strengthens their faith.