Persecution and Praise

Acts 16:25 And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.”

We marvel at the situation and circumstance that Paul and Silas faced that day.

Looking at their incarceration that day, they had suffered a flogging which left open wounds and put them in the stocks in the lowest part of the prison where the sewer ran through. Dark, dank, fetid smells and rats that roamed freely were just some of the things they faced.

Yet, through it all, they set aside all that to praise God openly to the prisoners around them.

Around the world, horrific atrocities are being committed against God’s people. Beheadings burned alive, tortured, and much worse. Jesus told us that we would face persecution. We must prepare our answer before it happens.

John 15:18 If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you.”

2 Timothy 3:12 Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.”

Will I stand and profess Christ even if it means I will suffer and die for it?

It is not for us to muster the strength to face such situations but trust God to give the grace needed to glorify Him in the process.

Foxe’s Book of Martyrs recounts the testimonies of those hunted down and persecuted for believing in Jesus Christ and the Bible. Some who suffered seem not to be affected by the flames but gave God glory as they died.

Some sang others recited scripture. Their tormentors were under such conviction that they cut out the tongues of the dying to stop from hearing them. Others stoked the flames to quicken their deaths. 

What of us? When our faith is challenged, do we shrink from saying anything, walk away, or pretend to be someone we’re not to hide from our accusers? I think we must remember our Savior and His suffering for us as well as those who have given their lives so we could have the freedom we do to share the gospel with others.

How can we face our Savior having shrunk from giving the very thing He died to provide us with?

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