”Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or naked- ness or danger or sword? As it is written: “For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.” No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels
nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:35-39
Before meeting Jesus, Paul persecuted Christ followers. After meeting Christ, he often endured persecution. From both perspectives, he knew the discouragement persecution can cause first-hand, and he gave us scrip- ture that will help us and others to remain faithful when facing persecution.
Persecutions opportunity. We are reminded that our words and deeds matter. Every day and in every situa- tion, others are watching. We display the light of Jesus by responding to our persecutors with grace, love and honesty. Persecution can reveal our true colours and nature.
Stay focused even while enduring persecution. God sees our persecution. When we focus on Jesus, and not our persecutors, we are reminded that we are not alone in our trials.
Persecution as a mirror. When light is reflected it provides an exact visual image. Mirrors can be used in telescopes and microscopes to intensify the focus of the light making it more revealing. We know that the enemy has blinded the minds of unbelievers, and they need
to visibly see the Gospel in action. When saved people serve people, especially those who persecute us, we are most closely reflecting the image of Jesus. May the Lord encourage us in this. /Mark Beckenham
– Pray for strength in weakness and that you can shine the light of Jesus through the way you speak and act.
– Pray for Christians around the world that are being tortured and persecuted for their faith, that they will be strong in the Lord and not give up.