Dealing with Persecution

Many Christians have experienced some type of persecution. Whether it be rejection or lack of acceptance due to your faith in Jesus. Or people thinking your a weird or crazy. Or someone preventing you from practicing your faith or discouragement from talking about Jesus. Or those who out right speak negative about Jesus. We in America experience mild forms of persecution. Then there are those in other countries who experience extreme persecution in the form of imprisonment, torture or death. Most of us can relate to some form of persecution. Some of us mild others extreme.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same?” Matthew 5:43-48

It brings forth the question, who is your enemy? For when someone persecutes you the natural reaction is to say, “that’s my enemy.” But is that human really your enemy? No actually they are not the true enemy. They are confused, blind to the truth because of sin and Satan. Sin/Satan is the true enemy. This is why Jesus many times says to love your enemy. Bless and pray for those who persecute you.

When someone spits in your face for being a Christian either with real spit or figurative spit do you say “thank you my friend may I pray for you” or do your spit back? I typically want to punch back, restrain myself, then repent for my thoughts and kneel down before God to pray for the individual. For this is something I must work on. I do not naturally love my enemies and desire to pray for them. But I do choose to love them and pray for them.

What do you do? Who do you see as your enemy? What are your innate reactions and how can you learn a different way?

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