MONDAY, JANUARY 29
“persecuted, but not forsaken;”
2 Corinthians 4:9 ESV
WHEN PERSECUTION HAPPENS: BE READY
A Jewish lady named Mrs. Rosenberg many years ago was stranded late one night at a fashionable resort – one that did not admit Jews. The desk clerk looked down at his book and said, “Sorry, no room. The hotel is full.” The Jewish lady said, “But your sign says that you have vacancies.” The desk clerk stammered and then said curtly, “You know that we do not admit Jews. Now if you will try the other side of town.” Mrs. Rosenberg stiffened noticeably and said, “I’ll have you know I converted to your religion.” The desk clerk said, “Oh, yeah, let me give you a little test. How was Jesus born?” Mrs. Rosenberg replied, “He was born to a virgin named Mary in a little town called Bethlehem.” “Very good,” replied the hotel clerk. “Tell me more.” Mrs. Rosenberg replied, “He was born in a manger.” “That’s right,” said the hotel clerk. “And why was he born in a manger?” Mrs. Rosenberg said loudly, “Because a jerk like you in the hotel wouldn’t give a Jewish lady a room for the night!”
Being persecuted for our faith is nothing new. The word “persecuted” literally means to be pursued or hunted down like an animal. At the least it is being bullied for your faith and at its worst it could mean being killed for your faith. The apostle Paul understood persecution like no one else. At one point in his life he was guilty of chasing down Christians and taking part in their murders. Now he was on the other side and being chased for his faith in Jesus.
This week we will look at how best to respond when we are persecuted because of our faith in Christ. I know some of us can relate to making fun of or even bullying Christians before we became a Christian. There are others of us who constantly have to deal with family, friends or coworkers who treat us harshly because of our faith. Find comfort today in knowing that you are not alone and God can use your faith in the face of persecution to bring people like the Apostle Paul to faith in Christ. Pray today for the people in your life who bully you because of your faith. Pray that God would save them and use them to lead others to faith in Jesus.