What to Do When You are Afraid of Being Persecuted
Do you ever worry about the possibility of persecution that may be ahead for those who follow Christ?
For years, it seemed like Christians living in the United States were given a pass from the persecution Jesus’ followers were facing in other parts of the world.
In the past year, around the world:
– Over 260 million Christians lived in places where they experienced high levels of persecutionOpen Doors
– 2,983 Christians were killed for their faith
– 9,488 churches and other Christian buildings were attacked
– 3,711 believers were detained without trial, arrested, sentenced or imprisoned
Although it may not be considered persecution in the U.S., Christians are struggling with churches being closed, lawsuits being initiated, schools making statements of faith “hate speech”, and businesses and social media monitoring what we are allowed to share.
But before you and I start wringing our hands . . . which I have to admit is easy for me to do, let’s take a look at what Jesus told His disciples in Matthew 10:
“Look, I am sending you out as sheep among wolves. So be as shrewd as snakes and harmless as doves.”Matthew 10:16
The world has always been full of differing messages. Solomon wrote:
History merely repeats itself. It has all been done before. Nothing under the sun is truly new.Ecclesiastes 1:9
That’s why it’s important for Jesus’ followers to be both shrewd and harmless. We need to know history and to know God’s Word so that we can live with wisdom willing to make ourselves vulnerable and reach others with God’s love.
What to Do When You are Afraid of Being Persecuted
Jesus honestly said that following Him wouldn’t easy but He also said a couple of really REALLY important truths.
“Don’t be upset when they haul you before the civil authorities. Without knowing it, they’ve done you—and me—a favor, given you a platform for preaching the kingdom news! And don’t worry about what you’ll say or how you’ll say it. The right words will be there; the Spirit of your Father will supply the words.”Matthew 10:19–20 (MSG)
“But don’t be afraid of those who threaten you.”Matthew 9:26a, 29b–31
“Not a single sparrow can fall to the ground without your Father knowing it. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.
If you’re feeling anxious and afraid today about the things you see going on in your community, state, country, or the world . . . pause with me to pray, let’s give it all to God.
A Prayer When You are Afraid of Being Persecuted
Father, Sometimes I wonder . . . why? Why do people reject Your love? And why are there people who choose to persecute and harm those who do? I know Jesus said His followers should anticipate persecution and that when they are to consider it an “opportunity to tell the rulers and other unbelievers about [Him].” (Matthew 10:18)
When I am anxious and afraid, remind me of Your promises. Give me the courage and strength I need each day and by Your grace, help me boldly share the truth of Your love no matter how the enemy tries to silence me.
And Lord, I pray for Your children who are being persecuted around the world. Be their provider and their source of protection and strength.
Please be with me . . . I give myself to You. Amen.
Friend, God knows. Nothing is hidden from Him. He sees the scope of all eternity and He sees you. He loves you.
On today’s note write:
God is with me. I will not be afraid!
May He be with you today and give you His peace . . . calming your fears about being persecuted.
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Deb, I so needed these comforting and reassuring words today. Yes, I’m feeling, with this most recent round of censorship by big tech, persecuted for my views and beliefs. In fact, I wrote about that in my most recent blog, and it will be interesting to read the responses I get. Whenever I go out on a limb, so to speak, I never know what will happen, but I can know for sure God is with me.
Thanks for your post, Martha! I pray to be able to continue to speak out for Jesus online . . . to share His truth and love on my blog and on social media. Oh, how the world needs Jesus!! Blessings!
Martha, I went to your blog and totally agree with everything you said! Tried to post my comments but cudnt get it to work. But thank you, thank you! I am glad to know that you and others out there are seeing and concerned about the conservatives and Christians are being shut down and shut out! I will stand up for God 24/7 and He will also be the only One I kneel for!
Thanks for sharing Deb! “It’s important for Jesus’ followers to be both shrewd and harmless. We need to know history and to know God’s Word so that we can live with wisdom willing to make ourselves vulnerable and reach others with God’s love.” So true.
Thanks for visiting, Lisa! It’s hard to think about but important to be prepared. What a blessing that the Lord wants to help us do just that! God bless you!
I love this! I believe we can be as shrewd as snakes by being sure of exactly what we believe about the gospel and why, so we can reply without feeling defensive (and angry) when someone challenges us.
Amen! What a great point, Katrina! When we KNOW and live His promises we don’t have to get defensive and angry. He promises to give us all we need to speak the truth with love, gentleness, and respect. His grace is sufficient. Thanks so much for visiting and for stopping to join the conversation. God bless you!