Have you been persecuted for your faith? You may not have been physically harmed, but maybe you were ridiculed by friends. Or perhaps you were denied an opportunity -- at work or in the community.
Sometimes the right response when we are persecuted is to overlook insults and snide remarks. But we cannot allow our faith or our God to be defamed. As we face situations in which we must defend our faith, we know that God will give us the boldness and the words to say. But that doesn't mean God wants us to remain ignorant. We must always fervently study His Word. We must understand what we believe and why.
Daniel and his friends did not allow their captors to define their faith. Even with the threat of death, they remained loyal to God. They did not try to gloss over the Truth, but remained firm in their faith. As we read in Daniel 3, God blessed them for their faithfulness by protecting Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego from the flames of the furnace.
As you face your own fiery furnace, God will be there with you as well. God will give you strength when you feel weak and broken. "That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong" (2 Corinthians 12:10).
When you face persecution, draw your strength from the promises of God. Jesus tells us, "Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you" (Matthew 5:10-12).
Prayer: Lord, help me to rely on You and Your Word when I am facing persecution. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.
"In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted" (2 Timothy 3:12).
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