by Toni Birdsong
Courage in the face of persecution: Some days you’ve got a lion’s supply of it. Other days, your heart feels like slipping off into the night like a worn out alley cat. Standing up and apart as a Christian in today’s digital culture will at times take everything you’ve got.
Online you will experience days of pure elation, divine connection, and eternity-altering testimony. Then there are the other days—days of missteps, misinterpretation, anxiety, self-doubt, rejection, and full-out persecution. At times the persecution will come from the expected places—opposing theologies, no theologies, or just cantankerous folks looking to scrap. At other times—and perhaps the more heartbreaking—the attack will come from within the tribe of believers. Ouch.
Roll with it. Persecution for what you believe is part of the cost of being a disciple. So go ahead, say it: “I’m gonna get slammed from time to time.” (See? It just feels better to say it out loud!)
Have heart. Press on. The mission outweighs the moment.
As Pastor Paul Washer says, “We are not called to build empires. We are not called to be accepted. We are called to Glorify God.”
Keep Jesus’ encouragement etched in your heart:
“Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” ~ Matthew 5:11–12, NKJV
When persecution closes in hang onto Truth:
- The cost of momentary persecution is nothing compared to the eternal reward of life with Christ.
- You can count on adversity, so when it shows up—rejoice in it. Your very presence online bungles the enemy’s plans.
- The Christian life (anywhere) is not without risk. It’s a beautiful, daring, treacherous adventure. Fall into the joy of it. Accept the turbulence. Rely on God to be your shock absorber.
- Pray for your enemies then love ’em like crazy.
- No one is scoring your performance. Relax. Smile. Pray. You will grow as you continue to “go” toward the life He’s called you to.
- Seek God’s shelter to heal you. In the presence of the Lord is the fullness of joy. Full means full.
- And lastly, remember this: God loves you. He sent own His son to rescue you from persecution—forever. Others may reject you but God thinks you rock.
Have you encountered persecution online because of your faith? How do you handle it?
Never lose heart, beloved. Others may reject you but God thinks you rock. #LiveSticky