Monday, September 7.
All around the world, intolerance and persecution of Christians is increasing. And even though we may face discrimination or judgment, the reality for many of us in the West is that we will never experience similar violence or oppression. Yet persecution has been a part of Christianity’s story since its beginning. Acts chapter 5 gives us some insight.
It’s an uncomfortable thought but an important one. At some point or other, we may find ourselves grappling with whether persecution is worth it. In such moments, remember what Jesus promised: “Theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:10). He wasn’t being intentionally vague; He was talking specifically about us, His followers. As Christians, we simply won’t experience fullness of life if we’re not willing to risk loving Him above all else, even if it costs us our job, our place in society, or our very life.
Reflect on your own experience. Have you encountered discrimination, judgment, or suffering because of your faith? Consider God’s promise to the persecuted. What does that tell you about Jesus’ heart for those who suffer?
Memory verse: Matthew 5:10.
“Persecution is the compliment paid by a threatened lie to a conquering truth.” Chapman Cohen