“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” – John 16:33 NKJV
Since it is trite that a follower of Christ is a magnet for persecutions, how should he respond when it comes?
The book of Acts is a good case study if one is to answer this question. It will reveal that one should respond in any of the following ways:
PRAY. When Herod killed James, the brother of John, and threw Peter into prison, the early church did not throw up its hands in defeat. They prayed for Peter’s release and God sent an angel to do the job. (Acts 12)
PRAISE GOD. The early church suffered a lot of persecutions. On one occasion, the apostles got arrested and flogged for preaching the gospel. Bible reports that they counted it all joy that they would suffer for Christ’s sake. What a way to respond! (Acts 5:40-42)
TRUST GOD WITH YOUR LIFE. According to history, John got to write the book of Revelations after miraculously escaping a boiling cauldron of oil. His captors meant to cook him alive!! But God saved him. If He did so for John, He can do the same for us.
BE READY. This cannot be overemphasized. Anyone who has believed the Gospel must be ready to be persecuted. While we may not all be “killed all day long” (Romans 8:36, Psalm 44:22), a high possibility still remains.
Look at what Paul said in a similar situation: “And see, now I go bound in the spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing the things that will happen to me there, except that the Holy Spirit testifies in every city, saying that chains and tribulations await me.
But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.”
Acts 20:22-24 NKJV
Isn’t that exceptional? This is the same resolve we should have.
FLEE. Sometimes, the Lord wants you to flee. It’s nothing to be ashamed. You know why? The Gospel has to be preached. If you stay in a persecution zone and get killed, who will reached the unsaved? Please flee so that you can keep preaching the Gospel. (Acts 8:1)
Dear believer, ours is a higher calling. We must be willing to go through anything for the Gospel. Do not be afraid, God will take care of us. Nothing can separate us from His love (Romans 8:37-39).