Fearing Persecution

I live in Bible country.  You’ll find a large majority of people in my area who go to church regularly, memorized scripture as far back as they can remember, or who talk about Jesus without a second thought.  Around here, it’s pretty easy to speak about God or tell someone that you’re praying for them.

But what about in other areas?  What about in the places you aren’t familiar with?  What about the bigger cities or businesses you frequent?  What about your jobsite?  Would you have the same confidence that the people you are surrounded by are unfazed or irritated that you would bring up Jesus?

We see more and more these days, Christians having to defend what they say and how they believe.  Often, we’ll hold our tongues in certain situations because we aren’t familiar with the surrounding audience.

But friends, we’re told that persecution and trials will happen!  We know that some will mock us for our beliefs.  You may receive harassment for your feelings on sensitive topics.  Dare I say some of us could lose friends for standing on the Rock of our Salvation.   The Bible tells us those who willingly accept it are blessed for going through it! 

“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.  Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, lacking in nothing.” –James 1:2-4

“If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of Glory and of God rests on you.” –1 Peter 4:14

“That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.  For when I am weak, then I am strong.” –2 Corinthians 12:10

We should be proud of the fact that our home is in heaven!  I saw a wonderful testament to this just this week.

Most of you have seen the NFL football game on Monday that resulted in the Buffalo Bills’ player, Damar Hamlin, going into cardiac arrest.  As they worked on him at the 50-yard-line, people were stunned, crowds quiet, many of the players and crew taking a knee as they waited to see if he would be ok. 

The following morning during a broadcast, Dan Orlovsky, an ESPN commentator, was speaking about what happened to Damar. 

Now hear me when I say, I know nothing about this man.  I’ve only read he’s an “outspoken Christian.”  I don’t know what his faith-walk looks like and I don’t know what skeletons are in his closet.  What I do know is that he courageously said on national TV that even though he didn’t know if it was the right thing to do, he wanted to pray for him right then with eyes closed and head bowed.  And he did. 

That.  Takes.  Guts.

Would we do the same?

I’m encouraged, Iron Porch!  Those that know me, know that I would talk to a door if it would talk back.  However, I want to be so fearless that I would stand WHEREVER and proclaim that I will pray to our Jehovah-Rapha, The God who Heals.  I want to be unashamed to talk to anyone about Jesus without fear of persecution because I know that persecution brings glory to our Father.

I’m asking you, dear friends…let’s stand strong in our faith, proclaiming to all the goodness and mercy of God that everyone might know who He is!

~Erin

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