I recently returned from a journey where I gained a deeper understanding of my brothers and sisters who face daily persecution due to their faith and unwavering resolve to follow Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. I was humbled and challenged, and I’m compelled to share their journey with others to increase awareness, personal transformation, and prayer.
- Persecuted believers have an intimate understanding of the resurrected Lord, Jesus Christ. Their love for Jesus pours out of them naturally, and—because of their daily living with Him—they could talk about Jesus for days!
- They fully understand the power of prayer and fasting. Because of this they are able to hear clearlyand obey immediately. If God says “Go,” they respond without hesitation, responding, “Yes, Lord,” no matter what they may be facing.
- They have committed large portions of the Bible to memory. They believe you can grow under persecution only when you have committed Scripture to memory.
- They have committed hundreds of praise songs to memory as well. Singing praises in the face of persecution counters pain and suffering and produces hope for the future.
- They appreciate that they are being prayed for by other believers. They know they are not alone or abandoned. They trust the community of believers to care for their families and they are encouraged to stay strong.
- They know their persecution is normal. They have been discipled to face the inhumanity they are experiencing. Though in human bondage, their freedom is in Christ, the Holy Spirit empowers them, they lose their fear of man and death, they have died to self, and they have found their completeness in Christ.
- They have a long genealogy of faith in their histories. They learn to live and die in their faith from their families. What an incredible vision for family life!
Though I walk and worship freely, I find myself in stronger bonds than my imprisoned and persecuted brothers and sisters. If I—if we—can grow in these areas, we could experience true freedom, as our persecuted friends have experienced it. We could be free from the entanglements of our material world and the fear of man, and we would join an unstoppable, redemptive, life-giving movement of God throughout the globe. Let us listen to the voices of the faithful!