Make sure you have the right instructions.
The Easter Sunday attack on Christians in Sri Lanka that killed 250 people and injured at least 500 has re-ignited the debate on the persecution of Christians worldwide.
“Are Christians Privileged or Persecuted?” questions a New York Times article.
“Sri Lanka attacks underscore global Christian persecution” headlines a Toronto Sun Editorial.
With the recent incidences in the United States and New Zealand, there seem to be an increase in the number of attacks on places of worship, regardless of belief.
What does it mean to be persecuted?
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines it as “to harass or punish in a manner designed to injure, grieve or afflict, specifically to: cause to suffer because of belief.”
Therefore, persecution comes in many different forms, be it explicit acts of hate or government restrictions. However, as Christians we shouldn’t be surprised when we are persecuted.
“If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you,” Jesus warned. (John 15:20)
“In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,” the Apostle Paul wrote while he was imprisoned and awaiting execution (2 Timothy 3:12).
How should you respond to persecution?
The only instructions we need are those from Jesus Christ.
“But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,” Jesus said in Matthew 5:44.
Love begins and ends with God.
The greatest commandments are to first, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind” and secondly to, “love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22: 36-39).
If you love everyone as you love yourself (and you should love yourself), it means you wish no one any harm.
Your prayer life is integral.
God is waiting on us to surrender to Him in deeds and prayer. “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14)
You can make a difference
As Christians, God has given us The Gift of Holiness so that we can be set apart for His holy purpose. Responding with love and prayer to persecution is obeying Jesus Christ, and distinguishes us in an unforgiving world gravitating towards a culture of retaliation.
This means that ALL of us—regardless of our status—have it within us, to demonstrate the love of Jesus and be part of the solution. That’s manifesting the CHAYIL, all powerful, great glory of God, walking in worship, wisdom, power, honor, favor, wealth and influence, just as Jesus did while He was on earth.
Our hearts and prayers go out to ALL those who have been affected by the acts of hate and violence.
We love and pray because we have hope.
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About CHAYIL GLORY
CHAYIL glory is the all-powerful, great glory of God manifested in and through his believers in the earth. The CHAYIL GLORY blog is published every Monday with insights to understand and apply God’s perspective to everyday life.