As it’s Easter, I was given an Easter egg a couple of days ago, as a gift. But the saddest thing about it (without-going-into-much-details-of-why-I got-the-gift), is that, I was given the gift in an environment where you couldn’t talk freely about Christ. To them, it was okay to share Easter eggs but it was never okay to share the message of Christ. It made me ponder ‘why you would breed an egg, only to destroy the chick.' Because, that is what we do when we despise anything related to Christ and then cheekily celebrate Christian activities purely for the festive element it brings.
But here’s the good news. Jesus knew the world hated him and would extend their hate to his followers. This was the reason why he told us in John Chapter 15 verse 18 that, ‘If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.’ So when people hate you, persecute you or ostracise you for talking about Christ, you should be delighted. Yes, be delighted. Even when those who persecute you are your very own friends or family. Why? Because, It means you are doing the right thing by choosing to serve Christ.
A good example are the Christians who came before us. The apostles and the early Christians, they all suffered loss for Christ and some of them died horrible deaths. But despite their ordeal, we know they were better off serving Christ because they made the transition from this world into eternity. Another example is Jesus Christ himself, who endured gut-wrenching persecution for our sakes and is now in eternity. When we look at where Jesus and his followers ended up, doesn’t it make a convincing case on why we should endure persecution? Isn’t christ worth fighting for?
That is why the Bible tells us in Hebrews Chapter 12 verse 2, to keep ‘looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and is (now) seated at the right hand of the throne of God. This encourages us to persevere through persecution, knowing that Just like Jesus, we Christians would suffer the same fate. James Chapter 1 verses 1-2 says, ‘Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.’
Where does this joy come from? It comes from the hope we have in Christ, that just as he overcame persecution to live eternally with God, we his followers will do the same too. For those Christian suffering parsecutions around the world right now, don’t lose heart let the words of Romans Chapter 8 Verses 31-38 below encourage you to keep going. It says,
“If God is for us, who can ever be against us? Since he did not spare even his own Son but gave him up for us all, won’t he also give us everything else?…For Christ Jesus died for us and was raised to life for us, and he is sitting in the place of honour at God’s right hand, pleading for us. Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death?…The Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day, we are being slaughtered like sheep.” Despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. 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. No power in the sky above or in the earth below…nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord.
So there you have it, let these words be your anchor and strengthen you whenever persecution comes your way. I leave you with a video below highlighting what life is like for a follower of Christ preaching the gospel on the streets. Hopefully it paints a picture of what life can be like for a Christian just trying to win souls for Christ.
Christians, let’s pray for those experiencing persecution for God to strengthen them, so that they won’t lose faith and finish the race victoriously for Christ. Stay blessed and let Easter be a time of reflection of what Christ did for us.
I'm Kemi West. A simple Christian, learning to live life, through the teachings of Jesus Christ according to the scriptures. I’m looking to share the gift of Christ with others.