How You Can Have Strength in Jesus When You are Afraid of Persecution
Do you ever worry that there is an effort to silence Christians through various forms of persecution? After a year where the churches were closed and statements of faith being declared hate speech and people being taken off social media for presenting Biblical truths . . . it’s hard not to wonder where our nation is headed.
Luke wrote the following about the days, weeks, and months that followed Stephen’s martyrdom.
A great wave of persecution began that day, sweeping over the church in Jerusalem; and all the believers except the apostles were scattered…Acts 8:1
The effort to stomp out the Christian faith did not have the desired outcome. In fact, the results were exactly the opposite.
Like the proverbial “throwing gasoline on the fire,” the believers scattered to other areas with their hearts “on fire” with the Good News about Jesus.
The believers who were scattered preached the Good News about Jesus wherever they went and…
- crowds listened. (v.6)
- miraculous signs were given. (v. 6)
- evil spirits were cast out. (v. 7)
- people were healed. (v. 7)
- there was great joy in the city. (v. 8)
People believed Philip’s message of Good News concerning the Kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ. As a result, many men and women were baptized.Acts 8:8
The truth is that sometimes we have to get uncomfortable before we’re willing to get moving.
And yes, no one wants to experience discomfort and they definitely don’t want to face persecution but God is able to use both to light a fire in us and make us bold . . . using this very time to spread the message of His saving grace.
Sometimes it’s being uncomfortable that moves us to find our strength in Jesus.
It’s tempting to give in to fear when we hear that persecution is increasing. But God is greater and the powerful message of His love is still able to meet people where they are and transform them with the TRUTH about Jesus. You and I can live confidently knowing that no matter how hard evil people try to defeat the Gospel – the power of the Word made flesh, the Savior, the King of kings and Lord of lords will forever and always go forward changing lives for eternity.
A Prayer to Find Your Strength in Jesus
Father, it is hard not to worry when I hear about churches being closed, businesses being sued, and people losing their voices online. It is harder not to be afraid when I hear about followers of Jesus in other parts of the world being imprisoned, “reeducated”, and even killed for their faith.
But again, there is “nothing new under the sun.” Since the beginning of Your church, people have tried to silence Jesus’ followers through persecution. But by the power of Your Spirit, You have given Your children strength in Jesus. You have sent them where You wanted them to go and given them the TRUTH You wanted them to proclaim. And You have transformed lives through faith!
When I am momentarily silenced by fear of persecution, please help me. Fill me with Your Spirit and turn the focus of my heart and mind to Jesus, who is my strength and the source of my faith. And in whose name I pray. Amen.
The enemy of our souls wants us afraid and silent. But empowered by God’s love through the Holy Spirit we can do the impossible . . . we can have strength in Jesus to share our story of the way the Good News of God’s saving grace transformed our lives. And when people see “love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control,” (Galatians 5:22-23a) in addition to our strength and courage in the face of fear . . . they may just want to know more about Jesus, too.
On today’s note write:
There is strength in Jesus when I am afraid.
God bless you today and give you all the strength you need as you trust in Jesus.
Click here to read the rest of Acts 8.
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Great post. Sad to say it seems Government sells fear when Jesus says, Fear not. So many of us feeling like our voices don’t matter in a sea of deception and lies and feeling powerless to those who seem to rule this great nation. I continue to remind myself God is in control. The separation of the people and the churches saddens me. I know I am not alone in this and pray more people will come together in the name of Jesus. Thanks Deb for your thoughtful blog. I’m here everyday reading your words of wisdom with the daily reminder to never give up.
I so needed this inspiration today, Deb!
Would you be in prayer for Danny this week? He will be having a catheter ablation done on his heart this Thursday to fix his heart’s rhythm. Thank you, my friend!
Hi, Martha! Thank you, my friend! May God be with and Danny and give you His peace. I’m praying for protection and healing. Hugs!
I read your blog everyday, I love what you write, some days more than others I read just what I want to hear…
Your words touch my heart, my soul, my thoughts.
I’m very lucky because I live in Italy, here I don’t feel this persecution, but I know that in the worlds people put their lives in danger for the faith, I didn’t know it also happens in the United States. I pray everyday for persecuted people.
Thank you so much, Sabrina! Your comment is a wonderful blessing on my day. There are many parts of the world where persecution of faith is much more severe than it is here in the states. But I do believe people are feeling unsettled by some of the things they see . . . ways that some are trying to hurt Christian business owners or calling the truths of God’s Word “hate speech.” I am thankful that our churches have been able to open again and I believe that God will use this time to grow His Kingdom. God bless you!
My journey has been long but my love of Christ is fierce. He took me from a self centered, egotistical, unfeeling, person to a believer in all things good. Jesus showed me love does exist, forgiveness is real and God is eternal. May I always sing your praises dear Lord and never forget you took me from the pits of hell and by your saving grace showed me the truth. May my story lead others to You so they too can know the power of Jesus and what he did for us on that cross so long ago. In deep humility I thank you for this post.
Oh, Marily, I love this! Thank you so much for sharing it with us. God’s grace is powerful and life-changing. May God continue to bless you as you lean on Him in faith.
We, the Church, need this! Thank you!
Peace and grace,
Thank you, Tammy! Blessings and hugs!
the Churches were not closed do to because of a virus not percicusion
You’re right, Gary. Churches were originally closed due to the virus but when churches are kept closed while many other places are allowed to open, I think people begin to ask questions and feel unsettled. Thanks so much for visiting and for adding your thoughts. God bless you.
The only real persecution I see is NOT because Christians believe in and trust Jesus. Instead, Christians who “worship” leader(s) who live and lead in ways that are the the antithesis of Jesus’ teachings have turned many away from their faith. They have made young people consider other beliefs. When a large group of Christians follow a man who is fake in his own faith, holds up a Bible (upside down) for a photo op…and can’t even name a favorite verse, it makes one wonder what has happened to Christianity. Then, when Christian leaders profess loyalty to a person(s) who live in ways that show no sense of true biblical beliefs themselves it makes it hard to not find fault in their faith. These types of “leaders” and their followers have done more to harm Christianity than anything I remember in my lifetime.
Chuck, thank you for taking the time to visit and for adding your thoughts to the conversation. I do feel that you are making generalizations and assumptions about what people believe. I’m seeing many young people turning to God’s Word as their source of hope and strength. I’m seeing many fellow believers who reach out with love and kindness to help and encourage others. Just because someone votes a certain way doesn’t mean they “worship” that person. I think it’s most important that all Christians would SEEK to know the Lord through the truths of His Word, and invite Him to help us trust and obey His will and His commands. May God bless you and give you His peace.
It is hard for many of us who feel persecuted because of our faith but Jesus didn’t come to judge us….He came to save everyone, including those who persecute us. That is why it is so important for us to pray for those very people, that through our example, may come to know Jesus. Jesus says, ” blessed are the peacemakers, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven”. Holy Spirit fill us with your gifts and strengthen us to boldly speak the truth, of God’s LOVE.
Thank you Deb for teaching us today and God bless you.
Angela – Ireland
Thank you, Angela. We can easily forget that how we respond to anything from negative comments to persecution . . . people are watching. How we treat someone who is unkind may be the very thing God uses to work in someone’s heart. And praying is always so important. Hope you’ve had a wonderful day. God bless you!
Am greatfull for the message, fear is what the enemy hopes for us, for us not to know our real worthy, but we are more than conquerors through Christ who strengthens us. Thanks Deb it’s like your seing me most of the times .thank you
Amen, Idah! What an awesome blessing to know that by God’s grace we will be more than conquerors. God be with you!