I don’t know what it is about this day and age but we are all, Christian or not, so quick to jump to the extreme in how we believe we are being treated. Every problem we face or policy we don’t like we immediately cry “persecution.” But not every problem we face is persecution.
I believe Jesus gives us a glimpse into part of the definition of persecution in Matthew 5:11 “God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers.”
As Christians, true persecution is directly linked to our belief in and commitment to Jesus. Not a problem we are facing, a little roadblock along the way, or a political policy that we don’t agree with.
I’m not saying that there is never persecution in America. I’m certain there is. But a brief browse through the Voice of the Martyrs website, www.persecution.com, and I get a real healthy dose of reality.
Not every problem is persecution!
I want my faith to be ready for real persecution when it comes, and it will. But if I’m constantly claiming persecution over every problem I face in life or policy I don’t like then I’m only watering down my faith to the lowest common denominator.
Romans 5:3-5 3 We can rejoice, too, when we run into problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. 4 And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. 5 And this hope will not lead to disappointment. For we know how dearly God loves us, because he has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with his love.