We’ve all heard accounts of religious persecution that has happened in the past. And historically, it seems that Christians and Jews have been the primary recipients of this injustice.
Between what’s happening in the world today and reading today’s Psalm, I couldn’t help but ask the following question…
How can individuals avoid being defeated when they’re being persecuted?
Holman Bible Dictionary defines persecution like this…
Harassment and suffering that people and institutions inflict upon others for being different in their faith, worldview, culture, or race. Persecution seeks to intimidate, silence, punish, or even kill people.
World Watch List 2023 at Open Doors states that “more than 360 million Christians suffer high levels of persecution and discrimination for their faith … 1 in 7 Christians are persecuted worldwide.”
These past few weeks we can see that the persecution of Jews has increased around the world, and many feel that there has been an increase in Christian persecution as well.
Today’s Psalm indicates that being persecuted is nothing new for God’s people…
From my earliest youth my enemies have persecuted me,Psalm 129:2
but they have never defeated me.
By God’s grace, God’s people have never been destroyed completely … not in the past, the present, or the future. We have God’s promise that His Kingdom will endure forever because Jesus has already won the victory over sin, death, and the works of the enemy.
Why are Jews and Christians the most persecuted people of faith around the world?
I believe it’s because God’s Word is TRUTH. The enemy knows he has been defeated and he will always use whatever and whoever he can to attack God’s children because it is his only way of fighting against the King of kings and Lord of lords.
Jesus said to those whose stubborn pride and prejudices kept them from believing in Him…
“You are of your father the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he tells a lie, he speaks from his own nature, because he is a liar and the father of lies.”John 8:44 (CSB)
And Jesus predicted that His followers would be persecuted…
“If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world, so it hates you.”John 15:18–19
So yes, God’s chosen people are being persecuted and hated but remember the second part of Psalm 129:2 … “they have never defeated me.”
By God’s grace, through faith in Jesus, we are God’s children. We are members of His family and citizens of His eternal Kingdom. And because Jesus defeated satan and won the Victory nothing in this world can defeat God’s children.
Psalm 129 also adds a foreshadowing of the battle Jesus suffered for us…
My back is covered with cuts,Psalm 129:3–4
as if a farmer had plowed long furrows.
But the Lord is good;
He has cut me free from the ropes of the ungodly.
We don’t need to be afraid. Jesus endured our punishment and we have been set free.
He promised, “Don’t be afraid of those who want to kill your body; they cannot touch your soul.” (Matthew 10:28)
Christ Jesus saved our souls by God’s grace. Even though we are persecuted, when we SEEK, KNOW, LOVE, TRUST, and OBEY the Lord we can live each day with confidence that God will protect our souls and give us everything we need. Absolutely nothing can snatch us from His loving hand…
And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.Romans 8:38
My prayer today is that Jewish people everyone will come to SEEK, KNOW, LOVE, and TRUST Jesus and that our Heavenly Father will protect His people when they are being persecuted.
A Prayer to Live in Victory
When You’re Being Persecuted
Father God, You call me Your child because I have placed my faith and hope in Your Son, Jesus. Your Word tells me to expect that the world will “hate” me because I love You. It has been true throughout history and it is still true today. In fact, Father, it seems like it’s getting worse than it has been in many years.
Lord, I admit that I hate even the idea of suffering for my faith. Please forgive me for the times I am inclined to be silent rather than boldly speaking the truth and sharing my faith. I want to boldly live in the victory You have already won for me.
My prayer today is that I will remember that You have defeated the enemy. He is fighting from a position that can only cause discomfort in spiritual battles but he can never win this war. The outcome has already been determined.
So, I will forever praise and thank You. Even when I am being persecuted, I will cling to the promise that nothing and no one can separate me from Your love. By Your grace, I am Yours forever and always. Please give me the courage and strength to bravely share Your love with everyone I meet. Please bring Jewish people around the world to faith in Your Son, and our Savior, Jesus. It’s in His name, I pray. Amen.
Do you remember what I told you? ‘A slave is not greater than the master.’ Since they persecuted me, naturally they will persecute you.John 15:20
But He also said…
Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”Matthew 28:19–20
So with the Lord’s help, we can follow the words of Lottie Moon…
Only believe, don’t fear. Our Master, Jesus, always watches over us, and no matter what the persecution, Jesus will surely overcome it.” ~ Lottie Moon – Missionary to China
May the Lord bless you as you boldly stand in faith even when you’re being persecuted.
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