II Thessalonians 1:6,7 For God will repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to you who are being afflicted, He will give comfort and rest when Jesus is revealed from heaven with His might angels.
Working in Kenya has been a joy and a great hardship. The darkness that we face daily, the smiling faces that cover evil intentions, have helped to realign my views with scripture. My first response to persecution is to pray that God will defeat the enemy. II Thessalonians tells us that the crushing of God’s enemies will happen. Those who afflict us will be repaid with their own currency, but that promise is still to come. For now, He has promised that “in the world you will have trouble and suffering, but be encouraged – I have overcome the world.”
Years ago I read that many Christians in China were taught that they would not be persecuted, because Jesus would return and save them. After the rise of the Chinese Communist Party in 1949, the great persecution began. Many Christians were sent to labor camps for life. Others quickly began to deny their faith in Jesus because according to their belief and expectation He had forsaken them. They even brought accusations against their leaders and fellow believers.
As the world seems to be getting darker, we must remember that Christianity is a walk of faith. Our absolute hope has little to do with this present life, rather we are promised eternal life and reward in Christ’s heavenly kingdom. We are also promised that Christ will return to repay everyone according to their ways and their works. Pray that those who are currently experiencing persecution in the world will have the strength to endure, even as Christ endured. And pray that your heart might be made ready to endure the same, should it happen to you. God is able.