Are you being persecuted for speaking the truth?
The truth of your testimony
How strong is your Christian testimony? Does your life testify to the truth of God? Not just your words, but the way you live your life? Does your life reflect the light of Christ so much that it brightens the darkness in others? Even to the point of being persecuted by those who don’t want to see what you see in the light?
John 5:31-47 explains that Jesus was persecuted because He spoke the truth uncompromisingly, and because His whole life was a testimony to that truth. A barometer of how well our lives reflect His is whether or not we’re being persecuted. (Oh fooey!) When we are truly shining light into darkness, those in darkness react against us. Their eyes need time to adjust.
Think of how you react when you’re sleeping in a dark room and someone turns on bright lights. Do you smile and say, “Thank you”? Not hardly. Startled, we all react with anger and hatred for the light, even if we know it’s time to wake up.
When your life testifies to the truth of God, the light of Christ in you startles people out of their sleep. If they really want to remain in darkness, they will try to find a way to shut off your light. And they will bury themselves deeper under the covers of their darkness, because it feels like a security blanket.
So what should we do with the sufferings caused by persecution? What’s your usual way of coping: Do you rejoice or do you join your persecutors in their darkness by turning off the light to fight back, or by protecting yourself using a compromise of the truth, or by complaining?
We find peace and healing by taking our complaints only to God and focusing on how the persecutions unite us to Christ so preciously and intimately.
Like Jesus, we can offer our sufferings as a sacrifice for those who persecute us. Jesus did not overcome His persecutors by defending Himself. Rather, He allowed the actual sufferings to conquer the darkness. We can do this, too. Our love for our persecutors and our union with Jesus will help the eyes of those sleeping in darkness to gradually adjust to the light so that their hearts will finally accept the truth.
If you are not being persecuted for your faith, your light is not shining very brightly. If it IS happening, appreciate how good this is and rejoice in it! Persecution is always a sign that your light is bright because it’s filled with Jesus.
© 2002 by Terry A. Modica
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