I scan literally tens of thousands of blog posts a year in my work here at InFocus. It is at least a weekly—if not daily—event to read of persecution of believers around the world.
Still, I wouldn’t want to give the impression that persecution is not common. It is. Very common. Just this week I’ve read of at least three people killed for their faith as well as other forms of persecution.
It is important at times to stop and remember those who are suffering for their faith in the 21st century. And as we do, I think we’ll find our hearts drawn to several responses…
It is easy to become hardened and stop caring. But this persecution is real and it is a heavy weight to those who bear it. As we remember, we will grieve for those who suffer and we will identify with Paul in Romans 8: we look with hope for the day when we will be with him in glory.
Giving to relieve the suffering of a persecuted church is not unprecedented in Scripture. In fact, much of Paul’s third missionary journey was devoted to just such a cause.
These dear believers need to know that we hold them in prayer before the throne of God. They need to know that the church of Jesus Christ has not forgotten her suffering brothers and sisters.
Let us not forget those in this age, and in previous ages, who lose their lives, and count it but gain, for the glory of the gospel. And let us pray that the gospel may march forward in these places. That the blood of the martyrs would indeed be the seed of the church.