We read in 1 Peter 2:19-25, “For this finds favor, if for the sake of conscience toward God a person bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly. For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God. For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps, who committed no sin, nor was any deceit found in His mouth; and while being reviled, He did not revile in return; while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously; and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed. For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls” (NASB).

These verses explain that if we follow Christ’s example and fulfill our calling to patiently suffer for our faith, that this causes us to find favor with God. So yes, we should embrace it when we are persecuted for being a disciple of Christ. In Acts 5:40-42 we read that the Jews gave Peter and the other apostles a beating, and “commanded that they should not speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. And they departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name. And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.”

There is a price to pay for being a Christian, but it is so worth it! We read in Philippians 1:29, “For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake.” We also read in 2 Timothy 3:12, “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.”

Regardless of what persecution we may endure, we know that the Lord said, “I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee” (Hebrews 13:5). He is with us at all times. We also read in Isaiah 43:2, “When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.” Just as the Lord Jesus was with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in Nebuchadnezzar’s fiery furnace, so He will be with us. He will watch over us and guide us safely home to glory. All praise to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ!  (387.2)  (DJ)