Persecution is an impossible word for me to wrap my head around. How does one person treat another so brutally? How does anyone stand strong in Christ when their body is screaming in pain? How does anyone endure watching their child suffer?
I read a story today about a man and his family in Vietnam. They endured pressure to give up their Christian faith and refused. Recently, authorities beat the man, his wife, and their 9-year-old son before forcing them from their property and confiscating their belongings.
Yesterday, I read this update about Pastor Saeed Abedini, suffering beatings and separation from his family for his faith in Christ. The article says this about him, “But he wants to share Jesus more than he wants to be free.”
There are never any easy answers to the questions of persecution, but I think one of the keys is realizing that these men, women, and children, have allowed God’s love for lost and dying people to so penetrate their hearts that they are willing to do what Jesus did. When He came to earth to suffer and die before coming back to life He proved once and for all that He would rather die for us than live forever without us.
May I be so full of His love that I would be willing to follow Him no matter the cost.
“Blessed are you when people hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven.” (Luke 6:22-23 NIV)
There are many ways you can remember the persecuted Church in your prayers. Here are a few of them.