Some of the greatest advances for Christ have been made during times of persecution. In the first century as persecution increased, believers were forced to leave their homes and flee to other areas. As they went they preached God’s Word and their number increased. The pressure brought on these early Christians simply enlarged their ever widening circle of witness.

Others have also given their best when persecuted.

One day John Wesley preached to a great throng in an outdoor meeting. He pleaded with his hearers to flee from the wrath to come. Later Wesley said, “Many of the people acted like beasts and did their best to disturb the meeting. They tried to drive a herd of cows into the crowd, but without success. Then they began to throw stones — showers of them. One of them struck me between the eyes. I wiped away the blood, and went right on, declaring that God has given to them that believe, “not the spirit of fear, but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7). I saw what a blessing it is when it is given us, even in the lowest degree, to suffer for His name’s sake!”

We know little of suffering for Christ in this good land. The heritage given America by those who laid the foundation of our government has kept our nation a place of religious freedom. Still some persecution comes to dedicated Christians by people who do not like to see a strong witness for Christ.

If persecution comes your way today…use the opportunity to tell others of Jesus. His rewards will be greater than any suffering we may endure (see Romans 8:18).