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Normal condition for Christians is to suffer persecution

From the writings of the Rev. Billy Graham

Dear Rev. Graham: Watching the deterioration of our nation is frightening. I believe in the Lord and His power but I do not feel I will be a good soldier when my faith is tried. How can I prepare? — N.P.

Dear N.P.: As a whole, our nation does not know what persecution is. We do not know what sacrifice is. We do not know what suffering is. The immunity to persecution that Christians in our country have experienced in the past two or three centuries is unusual. Christ strongly warned Christians that to follow Him would not be popular, and that in most circumstances it would mean cross-bearing and persecution.
The normal condition for Christians is to suffer persecution. Why? Because we follow Christ and the world hates Him. Are we willing to suffer to the sake of Jesus’ Name? Because our nation has experienced little religious persecution it is likely that under pressure many would deny Christ. Some who shout the loudest about their faith would surrender soonest. Many who boast of being courageous would be the most cowardly.
There are five ways that help us stand in the face of persecution. One: Make sure of our relationship with Jesus Christ — prepare to meet thy God (Amos 4:12). Two: Walk with God knowing that His Spirit resides within our hearts (Galatians 5:25). Three: Read and study God’s Word (Matthew 4:4). Four: Pray always (Philippians 4:6). If we are to stand uncompromisingly for Christ when a national crisis comes, we must know the power of prayer. Five: Meditate on the promises of the Lord (Joshua 1:8). To stand strong we must know the inner strength that comes from a vital relationship with Jesus Christ, God’s Son, and coming King.
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(This column is based on the words and writings of the late Rev. Billy Graham.)