“Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice, be glad, for your reward in heaven is great, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” – Matthew 5:10-12
Let me tell you of one of the days I face with dread. There will be a call telling me that one of the missionaries our church has sent out into the mission field has been arrested, or kidnapped, or even killed.
Whether it is a fellow minister, a doctor on a special mission trip, or even one of our teenagers building houses for the poor during their spring break, I pray that if such event occurs, we will not stand around wringing our hands, saying, “You know, this is getting too dangerous! We gotta back off some of this!” No! May it never be! Christ didn’t say when we face persecution, we should retreat like a bunch of cowards. He said we must continue the mission of the church, for those who are persecuted face extraordinary blessings!
Jesus Christ gives us a clear mission, to take the gospel to every corner of the world. He tells us there will be persecution and suffering. Yet, the mission of the church is what He has called us to fulfill, no matter what the cost! God is calling on us to be filled with the Holy Spirit, so that we will be faithful witnesses for Christ to the very end, no matter what the cost we have to pay.