“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you”. (1 Peter 4:12)
Being a Christian may mean that you will have to suffer for Jesus’ name. It happened to Jesus’ disciples. James was killed by the sword, Peter was crucified, John was banished to the island of Patmos, Paul got beaten and was in prison many times.
It still happens to Christians all over the world. Persecution is acute in countries like North-Korea, Somalia, Yemen, Libya and Eritrea. In other countries where there is still freedom of religion, tolerance for Christian values is diminishing.
Suffering for Jesus may be an issue you face. Going against the grain of your culture may result in discrimination or worse. The prospect of having to suffer for the Gospel is terrifying. Jesus knows it is. He says: “Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life.” (Revelation 2:10) Jesus wants to supply us with courage at the moment we need it. And he promises the crown of life to those who persevere!
Do you trust you will receive courage when you need it to suffer for Jesus’ name?