Expect Persecution . . . to some degree.
What is persecution? What does it mean to be persecuted as a Christian?
Persecution is the act of harassing, oppressing, or killing people because of their difference from society. Christians are persecuted because their belief in Jesus Christ as Savior does not conform to the godlessness of a sinful world.
Then & Now:
Fitting in may have been the goal before you became a follower of Jesus Christ. One thing that’s clear, it was not Jesus’ goal to fit in!
Imagine: A flock of hens - - yes, raising backyard chickens was a new experience for me at first; not like growing up on a farm with 10s of thousands of company-raised chickens back in the day. I won’t go into all the differences, but we had names for our girls and they all had their own personalities and were pets to our children. And when they were laying it was like an adventurous Easter egg hunt every day! But let one hen get an injury and suddenly the sisterhood was not very friendly! We quickly learned that It was important to separate the injured hen from the flock to protect her from their attacks, and making her injury even worse.
As Christians (or anyone who’s perceived as different), we can also be vulnerable to persecution just as the injured hen is vulnerable to the incessant pecking of the rest of the flock.
. . . It may be a life-threatening level of persecution, or something like daily bullying and being made fun of on the school playground. It may come from family and so-called friends, from strangers, from organizations, authorities in school or government. Nevertheless, we shouldn’t be surprised.
We don’t want to intentionally provoke or go seeking persecution – as the Bible teaches us to live peacefully with others as far as concerns us.
But we can (1) keep our guard up; (2) watch out for and take a stand for one another; and (3) keep our own spiritual armor on. Helmet of salvation, belt of truth, and so on. I’ll post a link to get my notes on Spiritual Armor on the blog.
And lastly, keep in mind our long-range view and God’s promises to work everything out for our good.
Romans 8:28 - “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
Jesus told his disciples,
“If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. (John 15:18)
What are your thoughts on this important topic of persecution and more specifically, how will you prepare for and respond to persecution?
If you'd like to take a peek at my personal notes on Spiritual Armor, just click the page to the left (or above on mobile).
I've divided them into sets of four days for four weeks (16 days) and added Journal pages for each day for you. Just click and add your info then watch your email inbox.