Most of us in the West have no clue what it means to be persecuted for the sake of Christ. If people give us the cold shoulder for taking a moral stand or sharing the gospel, we feel persecuted. But rejection and persecution are not synonymous. The Apostle Paul gives us a graphic example of what it means to be persecuted in his second letter to the Corinthians.
I have worked much harder [than those exploiting the Corinthians], been in prison more frequently, been flogged more severely, and been exposed to death again and again. Five times I received from the Jews the forty lashes minus one. Three times I was beaten with rods, once I was stoned, three times I was shipwrecked, I spent a night and a day in the open sea, I have been constantly on the move. I have been in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my own countrymen, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false brothers. I have labored and toiled and have often gone without sleep; I have known hunger and thirst and have often gone without food; I have been cold and naked. Besides everything else, I face daily the pressure of my concern for all churches” (2 Corinthians 11: 23b-28 NIV).
Persecution did not end with the martyrs in the early church but continues to this day in various parts of the world. Let us continue to pray for Pastor Saeed and others with firsthand knowledge of what it means to suffer for the sake of Christ.
- No more moaning or wait like Paul! (livingmoreabundantly4christ.com)
- Paul’s Letter to Corinthians (thesanctuaryatcamilla.wordpress.com)