“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

Retreat? Absolutely Not!

Let me tell you of the day I’ve always faced with dread. It’s a call telling me that one of the missionaries that our church has sent out into the mission field has been arrested, kidnapped, or even killed. Sadly, I must say that I have received such news in the last couple of months and the truth was even more unsettling than I ever imagined.

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 that must be paid.

Pray for these wonderful Christian men and women whose lives are threatened every day in order to carry on the mission of sharing Jesus Christ to the uttermost parts of the earth.