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The Bible promises that believers in Christ will experience persecution if we want to live for the Lord. In America, even though we have been sheltered from persecution for quite a while, that is quickly changing.

  • Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. 2 Tim. 3:12

Believers throughout history and around the world today have experienced intense persecution. We are not exempt from that.

Benefits from Persecution for Our Faith in Christ

As much as we don’t like the idea of persecution, there are many blessings that come from it for us and the Kingdom.

  • Individual believers grow much stronger in their faith. They are refined and purified. They become spiritually mature.
  • The church is refined and purified. Those who don’t really love the Lord leave. Heresies and false teachings are purged. Those who are worldly and carnal fall away.
  • The church becomes much more fruitful. Many more people come to Christ and are properly discipled.

How to Prepare for Persecution

Scripture is full of ways we can strengthen our faith and trust in God. It’s also full of examples of heroes of the faith who stood strong in the face of adversity and persecution.

  1. Spend much time in the Bible. Stand on the truths and promises of Scripture more than ever.
  2. Know who you are in Christ and keep your eyes firmly on Him constantly.
  3. Continue to meet together with strong believers.
  4. Invite God to refine, purify, equip, and prepare you for what is ahead.
  5. Decide in advance that you will follow Jesus no matter what. Ask God to empower you to be faithful and obedient.
  6. Don’t compromise the Word of God for the world. Reject false teaching and embrace only sound doctrine. Ask God to help you rightly discern false teaching. It is rampant and will become even more widespread the closer we get to the end.
  7. Develop a habit of praising and thanking God in all things. Our praise empowers us as we invite God to work supernaturally because we trust Him.
  8. Ask God to bring about His will and His kingdom on earth.
  9. Pray for those who mistreat believers.
  10. Continually repent of any known sin in your own life.
  11. Yield to the control of the Holy Spirit.
  12. Develop total dependence on God and don’t put your hope in anything in this world.
  13. Study the lives of believers who have been faithful, unwavering, and bold for Christ, even in the face of persecution. People like Corrie Ten Boom, the apostles, Deitrich Bonhoeffer, Jim and Elizabeth Elliot, Andrew Brunson, and many others. Read Hebrews 11, the Hall of Fame of Faith.
  14. Study Bible prophecy and be familiar with what the last days will look like and what we can expect, trusting God and His plan and sovereignty.
  15. Share the gospel and Life-giving truth of Scripture with urgency. Shine brightly for Jesus, making the most of the time.

Ways to Think About Persecution Rightly

1. Don’t let yourself be persecuted for doing wrong.

We are to do good to all people and to overcome evil with good, not what is evil.

  • Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. Luke 6:27-28

2. Recognize that being persecuted for righteousness is actually a great blessing.

We want things to be easy. But the truth is that persecution strengthens individual believers and the church. This is why we are to rejoice when it happens to us.

  • Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. Matt. 5:10-12
  • But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled. 1 Pet. 3:14

3. Develop healthy fear, reverence and awe of God. Seek His approval, not people’s.

Jesus instructs all who would follow Him to count the cost of discipleship. Persecution for following Jesus and doing what is right is always a possibility for us.

  • “I tell you, my friends, do not fear those who kill the body, and after that have nothing more that they can do. But I will warn you whom to fear: fear him who, after he has killed, has authority to cast into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him!” Luke 12:4-5
  • So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” Heb. 13:6
  • For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ. Gal. 1:10

Don’t freak out.  

  • For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. 2 Tim. 1:7
  • There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love. 1 John 4:18

4. Remember that the world hated Jesus and He told us they would hate us, too.

We belong to a heavenly kingdom, not the earth’s kingdom. The two kingdoms are diametrically opposed. Those who follow Satan and are spiritually dead and blind always persecute those who follow the Lord. They are ensnared and need Jesus and the gospel. They are potential fellow brothers and sisters in Christ.

  • And you will be hated by all for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. Matt. 10:22
  • Do not be surprised, brothers, that the world hates you. We know that we have passed out of death into life, because we love the brothers. Whoever does not love abides in death. Everyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and you know that no murderer has eternal life abiding in him. 1 John 3:13-15

5. Take up your cross daily.

We are living sacrifices for Him (Rom 12:1-2). We set aside our will and seek His will, whatever the cost, because He is worthy of our all.

  • Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. John 12:25
  • I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Gal. 2:20

Pray with Me

Lord,

We thank You that You are in full control over this world and the nations. We thank and praise You that You will never leave us or forsake us. We invite You to prepare and equip us and Your people for what is ahead.

Let us be bold, strong, and courageous. Let us have great faith in You, shining with joy, peace, and cheerfulness for Your kingdom. Let us be fruitful for you and filled with the Spirit.

You alone are worthy of any sacrifice we can give whether it is our praise, our jobs, our homes, our freedom, or our lives. Your Kingdom come! Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven!

Let us not give way to fear or panic. Thank You that You are refining us. We bless you and trust You with all our hearts. Be glorified in our lives, our families, and Your church. Be glorified in America and every nation around the world.

Let us be faithful to You. For You are always faithful to us.

Amen!

Share

If you have resources or godly wisdom about preparing for persecution or enduring persecution for your Christian faith, you are welcome to share in the comments. 

Also, if you would like to share prayers for believers around the world and in America for boldness, strength, courage, and greater faith, you are most welcome to.

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Share

If you have experienced persecution and would like to share godly wisdom with us, we would love to hear about your experiences.

If you would like to pray for all of us in the comments, you are also welcome to do so.

Note: Let’s focus on Christ and His Word and on our faith in Him and the spiritual battle ahead. This is not a political battle, but one in the spiritual realm. We will need spiritual weapons and preparation. So I would ask that we not comment on the political right now, but on the spiritual.

Let’s commit to praying for all of our leaders in our nation and around the world. And let’s avoid foolish arguments that only produce quarrels. Seeking instead to know Christ and the power of His gospel and the unity He desires us to have that we can only experience in His Body as we align ourselves with His truth alone.

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