Monday, August 1, 2011

Persecution: How we Christians should and shouldn't respond

The Lord Jesus sends trials and persecution our way to help us grow. However, we will only grow if we respond to persecution in the right way. If we respond the right way, we'll grow closer to the Lord Jesus Christ and shine our light. If we respond the wrong way, it may destroy our testimony for our King. So let's look at the ways we shouldn't respond to the persecution that hits us:

1. Fear: We shouldn't act like cowards in the face of the persecutors. Fear will cause people to ultimately leave the faith, as was happening in Pakistan at the beginning of the year. Peter says, But even if you should suffer for righteousness' sake, you are blessed. "And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled (I Peter 3:14)."

2. Compromise: We shouldn't take our beliefs and mix it with other beliefs when the going gets tough. It shows that we are unfaithful to our God.

3. Retaliation: As Christians we have specific commands from our Savior to avoid calling for revenge against our persecutors. We are leave vengeance up to our God Savior.

4. Apostasy: And of course, we should not leave Christianity we face persecution. Our Savior said that we would be persecuted for his sake, so we shouldn't leave at the first sign of it coming.

Responding in any of those ways, would damage our testimony for Christ greatly. I've just highlighted the ways a Christian shouldn't respond to persecution. Now it's time to show how are to respond when persecution comes our way:

1. Fearlessness and bravery: If fear is a wrong way of responding to persecution, then fearlessness and bravery are the right to respond to persecution. If we get executed for our faith we should face our execution with fearlessness and never be ashamed of the gospel.

2. Endurance- The scriptures tell us over and over again to endure persecution like a beating drum, whether it be insults or beatings.

3. Perseverance- If we persevere through our persecution, God will give us a crown of life. We are also told that the testing of our faith brings perseverance (James 1:2).

I pray that the Lord Jesus will give us Christians, the strength to respond to our persecution in positive ways and avoid negative ways of responding. I pray that we do that so that we win others to Christ and glorify Him.

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