My friends, Jesus made clear to His disciples that they would be persecuted. The other authors in the New Testament took the same route, writing to the churches that they would face persecution because of their faith.
In this third article we will learn what Jesus and the apostles had to say about handling persecution.
3 – HOW TO DEAL WITH PERSECUTION
We need to learn how to deal with persecution. We need to know that if we have a commitment with Christ we will be persecuted. The important thing here is to know what we should do when we see persecution coming, or we are in the middle of it.
- DO NOT BE SURPRISED – The first thing that the Bible tells us is that we should not be surprised. By now you should know that it is coming. This is what Peter said: “1Pet. 4:12 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful trial you are suffering, as though something strange were happening to you.”
- PRAY FOR THOSE WHO PERSECUTE YOU – The second thing is to pray for those who persecute you. This is the right thing to do and the Christian thing to do. Pray for them. This is what Jesus said: “Matt. 5:44 But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,”
- BLESS THOSE WHO PERSECUTE YOU – The third thing is to bless those who persecute you. The text is very clear, bless and do not curse. The Christian has a different attitude in the persecution. Those who persecute us should be blessed. This is what Paul wrote: “Rom. 12:14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.”
- ENDURE IT – The fourth thing is to endure it, to hang in there. We take it, even when it is painful. We put ourselves in the hands of the faithful Creator, because He will take care of us. Paul and Peter emphasize this:
“1Cor. 4:12 We work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it;”
“1Pet. 4:19 So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.”
- TESTIFY – The fifth thing to do is to testify, to give your Christian testimony. This will be a wonderful opportunity for us to share the Gospel with those who persecute us. They will not understand at the beginning, but eventually they will see that there is something different in our lives. This is what Jesus said: “Luke 21:12-13 “But before all this, they will lay hands on you and persecute you. They will deliver you to synagogues and prisons, and you will be brought before kings and governors, and all on account of my name. This will result in your being witnesses to them.”
- FLEE – The sixth thing to do is to flee to another place. If you can do that, if you can avoid or leave that situation and place, do so. You do not need to suffer persecution if the ability to get out is in your hands. Unless the Lord directs you otherwise. This is what Jesus said to the disciples: “Matt. 10:23 When you are persecuted in one place, flee to another. I tell you the truth, you will not finish going through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes.
Matt. 23:34 Therefore I am sending you prophets and wise men and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify; others you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town.”
- REJOICE AND BE GLAD – The seventh thing, the Word says, rejoice and be glad. We are participants in the sufferings of Christ. We are in the right direction, we are in the company of great people, like the prophets who suffered for Christ. Jesus said: “Matt. 5:12 Rejoice and be glad,” And Peter wrote this: “1Pet. 4:13 But rejoice that you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed.”
As you can see my friend, our Lord and His apostles wanted to prepare the church for the trials that every disciple would face.
May God give us grace and strength to be disciples no matter the price.
Have a blessed week,