In this, Episode 13 of the MoreDisciples Podcast, Allan and I listen to clips from a recent talk with Terry & Amy, who, in the midst of launching a very effective start-up to what appears to be a real disciple making movement, are “Enduring in the Face of Struggle” in Africa.
I really liked the video for today and how Curtis talked about discussing persecution with new believers before they are baptized. Often times I feel like persecution gets swept under the rug and no one really wants to talk about it as a reality. We like to think of persecution as something that may happen if we follow Christ, but we may also be able to avoid if we’re lucky. But if you’re living a life that follows Christ you are among spiritual warfare and it’s not a maybe, you will be persecuted. How we as Christians handle this persecution is a chance for us to display Christ. When someone faces persecutions and trials with grace and joy people begin to notice.
My church did a series over persecution a few months ago and it talked about the various types of persecution from societal marginalization all the way to life threatening persecution. Fortunately here in the U.S. we have freedom to worship Christ and rarely is someone’s life threatened for their beliefs, but we should be passionately lifting up in prayer our brothers and sisters in Christ who are putting their lives on the line in high persecution countries. We are called to carry one another’s burdens together. And although as an American my life may not be threatened, I get left out, avoided, not asked for my opinion because people don’t want to know what I think or believe, I’m viewed as weak or closed minded and I have to be okay with that. Persecution hurts, it’s hard. But, I know that Christ is with me and will give me the strength to come out on the other side. I have to choose to trust him and face the persecution with grace and know that my faith in Christ will only grow stronger through the trials. One of the verses that always comes to mind when I think about persecution is…
“Consider it pure joy my brothers whenever you face trials of many kinds because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.”