This week I’ve been sharing some thoughts about facing trouble and persecution for your faith. Maybe this idea is new to you, maybe even bothersome.
But even though we usually think of persecuted Christians as people in desperate situations on the other side of the world, it’s going to be an increasing issue here in our society too.
So how do you respond? Like a wounded coyote backed into a corner?
First, we need to remain true to Jesus and his teachings, even though it’s tempting to fall away. His words are eternal, fixed, and trustworthy. As he says in Mark 13:31, “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.”
Second, we need to respond in a way that is consistent with the “fruit of the Spirit” that God works through us: “love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Galatians 5:22-23).
After his “trial,” Jesus was spat on, blindfolded, punched, and beaten (Mark 14:65). And that was before they crucified and stabbed him! And yet, what happened to Jesus couldn’t kill the love working through Jesus.
And so it is with us.
Your faith often makes you stand out. And if you start to experience the overt persecution that our ancestors in the faith experienced, you may be tempted to offer someone a fist instead of turning the other cheek. It’s not easy! I know.
Our job is to be true to Jesus, and to love.
Remember that what happened to Jesus couldn’t kill the love working through Jesus.
And so it is with you.
By Matthew Ruttan
–Today’s devotional is related to my podcast from Sunday about how we respond to the increasing trouble and persecution we face as Christians today. You can watch the video here. (For the audio only go here and scroll down.) I hope it’s helpful.
–My latest blog is “More than one or two “faith issues” at the polls.” Check it out here. Enjoy!
–Bible quotes from the NIV.