Churches and pro-life centers have been marred by graffiti and damaged by those who oppose their beliefs and teachings. Christians are being persecuted in many parts of the world.
Once again . . . there is nothing new under the sun.
The author of Psalm 79 wrote…
They have defiled your holy TemplePsalm 79:1b, 4
and made Jerusalem a heap of ruins.
We are mocked by our neighbors,
an object of scorn and derision to those around us.
The Life Application Bible Notes add…
For reasons that we do not know, God sometimes allows pagan people to scoff at believers. We should be prepared for criticism…
“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.”
“God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven.”John 15:18–19, Matthew 5:11–12a
It’s hard to be happy about it, isn’t it? Truthfully, it’s hard not to be angry. It’s even tempting to want to fight back.
The thing is that just the existence of God’s love being demonstrated through those who trust and obey Him reveals the guilt of those who don’t. Evil hates that godliness declares it sinful and wrong. That’s why those who reject the Lord fight so hard to make God’s children declare that sin is not sin. That lies are truth and truth is a lie.
The enemy of our souls/the father of lies must do whatever he can to deny and destroy the truth of God’s gracious and merciful love.
But he can’t win. Jesus has already won. This is all just temporary.
Yes, it’s hard. It’s painful. We hate it and it makes us angry.
That’s okay. God hates sin too. But He loves people.
So, Jesus told us and showed us how to respond to those who hate, mock, and persecute us…
I say, love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven.Matthew 5:44–45
And then He prayed for us…
I have given them Your word. And the world hates them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. I’m not asking You to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one.John 17:14–15
And just prior to this prayer, Jesus told His followers…
I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”John 16:33
So, when you “are mocked by [your] neighbors, an object of scorn and derision to those around [you]” here are…
4 Things to Do When You are Being Persecuted
- Stand strong in faith and speak His truth.
- Love everyone – even your enemies.
- Pray for those who persecute you.
- Take heart! God is with you. The victory has already been won.
A Prayer for God’s Help When You’re Being Persecuted
Father God, thank you for bringing me to faith. Thank you for Your Word and for those who have mentored me and taught me the truth about Your love. Oh, how I long for everyone to come to the knowledge of the truth about Jesus. I want everyone to experience the blessing of Your grace and mercy through faith and repentance.
You want so much more for us than this world has to offer. You give us peace that passes understanding, joy that knows no bounds, and hope that lasts forever. Thank you, Father! I am humbled and grateful that You would love me and make me Your own.
Thank you for sending Jesus to live among us. He experienced persecution. He was mocked and scorned by those He came to save. He has been hated by those for whom He died.
Jesus showed us how to live with love even when we are mocked and ridiculed. He told us what to do when we are being persecuted. He taught us to love our enemies and pray for them that they might see Your love and turn to You.
Please protect Your children from persecution. Help us remember that although the enemy attacks us, he has already been defeated. Please give us the strength we need to stand in faith and bless us with peace for the moment and hope for future blessings you have promised.
In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.
It’s hard for us to live with peace when we are being persecuted.
I want to stay focused on Jesus with an eternal perspective but injustice and hatred make me angry. And that’s where the enemy wants me. That’s where he wants all of us.
Dividing people into factions and making them enemies who hate each other is his goal.
But Peter wrote…
Be very glad—for these trials make you partners with Christ in His suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing His glory when it is revealed to all the world. If you are insulted because you bear the name of Christ, you will be blessed, for the glorious Spirit of God rests upon you.1 Peter 4:13–14
No, it won’t be easy.
So we run to Jesus in faith because He promises to give us the strength we need to fight each battle and live in victory surrounded by His love.
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