NOTE TO SELF: A few years ago I was suddenly snapped out of my Christian coma when I read one of my friend’s facebook status that asked why Christians always had to say, “Praise God!” I was rudely awoken out of my stupor. God used that very status as a way to get me back on track. It was the harsh criticism (persecution) of Christians that triggered a renewed faith within me. It drove me deeper into God’s Kingdom.
I’ve often found that these types of persecutions drive me deeper and deeper into God’s Word and His Ways, much like the Chick-Fil-A incident brought thousands and thousands of Christians out to celebrate God’s Truth in a peaceful and loving way. When we realized in one brief instance just how hated we were and how the world ridiculed our beliefs, we found a way to come together and dig deeper into God’s Kingdom. Persecution sparks righteous anger. It is like a key to a hidden treasure box that dwells within us that we are always so scared to unlock.
We don’t “like” persecution. That’s not what I’m trying to say. In fact, we are afraid of it in many ways. No one wants to be persecuted for their faith, and that’s why so many Christians remain silent when it comes to “hot topics” or issues. We don’t want anyone to scorn us, or ridicule us for our beliefs, so we instead keep them to ourselves. But when we speak out and when we are persecuted for doing so, we are acutely aware of just how much our faith means to us, and we find strength in that persecution to stand firm on God’s Word.
Today’s scripture not only tells us we’ll be blessed, but HOW we’ll be blessed. Persecution brings us closer to God. Don’t seek persecution, but instead when you find yourself confronted by critics and haters, dig deeper into God. Use it as an opportunity to speak God’s Truth in your own life.
PRAYER: Lord God, may our commitment to You be strong and solid. We will surely be hated because of our belief in You, but when we find ourselves being persecuted, let it awaken the spiritual giants within us. Amen.
JOURNAL: Write about a time when you felt persecuted because of your faith in Christ. Did you give up on God, or did your faith only become stronger? If it became stronger, explain how it brought you closer to God.