Many years ago I recall visiting with a pastor in Eastern Europe. He made the statement that in the United States we trust in too many things. We trust our government, our law enforcement, our economy, etc. He said in my country we cannot trust any of those things. We can only trust in God.
In our country it has been relatively safe to be a Christian. When we talk about persecution it is generally related to someone being unkind or harsh. It may have cost someone a particular job or promotion. It may mean losing relationships with friends and family members. But, it has not meant prison or torture or death.
Our country is now in turmoil. Morality, respect, integrity, faithfulness, etc. are being replaced with hate, intolerance, deception, immorality, etc. Christianity is becoming increasingly unpopular. In fact, for many, Christianity is a blight on our culture that needs to be extinguished!
Our Lord has made it clear from the beginning that the Christian life would be one of conflict and suffering. The fact that we have not had to endure much persecution is an anomaly and should never be considered the norm for Christians. Now the question is, “Do I really trust God?” Church history is clear that during the greatest persecutions of Christians, there were those who stood fast for the faith and suffered in unimaginable ways. There were also many who professed Christ that bowed the knee to the pagan authorities and avoided such suffering.
When Jesus told Peter of His impending suffering and death, Peter rebuked the Lord. Peter learned a profound lesson, and after the resurrection he provided substantial instruction on how the believer should view suffering.
But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled…
1 Peter 3:14
Therefore, since Christ has suffered in the flesh, arm yourselves also with the same purpose, because he who has suffered in the flesh has ceased from sin…
1 Peter 4:1
Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation.
1 Peter 4:12–13
After you have suffered for a little while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you.
1 Peter 5:10
In the midst of the chaos and uncertainty in this world and in our country, I hope you will truly trust in God without wavering!