Following Douglas MacKinnon’s article, published April 21st, 2018, on the Fox News website, the former White House and Pentagon official, plus author, raised this very delicate question:
How long will I be allowed to remain a Christian?
This question sent me into a very complex journey. M. MacKinnon, asks why do so many, not practice the very simple rule of “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”. It is regarding the fact the many Christian citizens of the United States are under the impression their faith is not respected. It has been ridiculed, diminished and attacked on a daily basis.
Will this persecution, Christian families face, eventually cause them to renounce their faith in order for them to keep their job so they can provide for their families?
What God says about keeping faith
Jesus told us if we were to believe in Him, we too would be persecuted. It is obvious that many suffer physically for being Christians, in different parts of the world. Many of us are free from physical persecution but still are suffering for our faith. But it is very important to recognize there is a big difference in the way we experience our faith depending on the area we actually live in this world.
1 Peter 2.23
When He was reviled and insulted, He did not revile or offer insult in return; when He was abused and suffered, He made not threats of vengeance; but He trusted Himself and everything, to Him Who judges fairly.
God knew we would struggle with unbelief because persecution often brings us to questioning our faith! But God shares many scriptures in the Bible to help us during those times.
1 Thessalonians 2:13
And we also thank God continually because when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as a HUMAN WORD, but as it actually is, the word of God, which is indeed at work in you who believe.
I took the time to ask a very good friend of mine, my pastor, what were his thoughts on that matter. Here’s what he said:
Persecution toward Christians is very edifying! You basically are a Christian or not. Persecution separates those who wish to follow the Lord and those who will eventually stop. It defines the Christian. It pushes him/her to make sincere and difficult choices.
We become desperate during persecution time, but you also live incredible things with God through that! You bow down, kneel down and look to God.
Sometimes in our faith, we become very comfortable, indifferent or even complacent. We lose our thirst for God. But during times of persecution, it can bring us back to where we should be. Our relationship becomes more intimate as we grow in our faith, as we are willing to accept suffering as a privilege.
On a personal note, I was sick with C Difficile for many months and it brought me close to death, but it also made me realise how special of a relationship I have with our Father. I felt at one point, lying on that hospital bed, there was just Him and me, staring at each other. He asked me one question: Do you still believe?
We know all the hardship will either make us stronger or we will lose our faith. We just can’t “believe” only when life is easy. But if we expect it -persecution, just like Jesus told us too, we can prepare for it.
We need not to forget that God intervenes during persecution. History shows us there are revivals and awakenings in different parts of the world, which has brought millions and millions of people to God when there was no hope left. (Beardsley, 1912)
Our God is not shaken by what might happen in the world or by what gets to be written in the newspaper even if it is a bit scary and sometimes, discouraging. Our God is strong. That’s why we need to rely on Him, look to Him only and read very carefully His words. Take courage in them. They will surely bring you peace when nothing else can.