Have you ever been afraid of being persecuted for your faith? I know I have. At one place where I worked, I didn’t even want to mention that I was a Christian for fear of ridicule and judgment. Yet here is Jesus telling the church at Smyrna not to be afraid, though he says quite plainly they will die. Um…right. If I received a txt (who writes letters anymore?) saying to be prepared for persecution and that I just might die, I’m just sure I would be able to live without fear. Sure, Jesus. I can do that.
Or could I? When ever I’ve been in an intense situation that required supernatural guidance or grace, the Holy Spirit has always been right with me. And how many times have I heard stories about modern day Christians who have done acts of extraordinary courage empowered by God’s extraordinary power. While I’m not exactly praying for persecution, I’m drawing hope from the memory of God’s history providing for his people.