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Hebrews 10:32-35
Remember those in prison, as if you were there yourself. Remember also those being mistreated, as if you felt their pain in your own bodies (Hebrews 13:3).

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What blessings are promised to those who are persecuted for Christ’s sake? (Matthew 5:10-12; Luke 6:22-23). In what ways are those who are persecuted being blessed? (Mark 10:28-30; 1 Peter 4:12-16).

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Besides praying, what else can you do for your fellow brothers and sisters who are suffering because they love Jesus? How does God use persecution to purify His people?

I’ve never experienced what it means to be opposed or persecuted for my religious beliefs. Without a doubt, I’m thankful that I live in a country where there’s both freedom and safety to practice my faith. Yet, in more than 50 countries around the world, no less than 200 million Christians are vigorously opposed and ruthlessly persecuted. Many thousands have died horrible deaths, simply because they loved Jesus.

The believers to whom Hebrews was written had suffered and were struggling to remain faithful amidst severe persecution. Encouraging them to keep their eyes on Jesus, the writer challenged them to endure and persevere in their public profession of Christ (Hebrews 12:1-3).

He commended them for remaining faithful in the midst of terrible persecution—public ridicule, all their belongings confiscated, beatings, and imprisonment. Despite their severe suffering, these believers had joy! “You knew there were better things waiting for you that will last forever. . . . Remember the great reward it brings you!” (Hebrews 10:34-35). What great promise and assurance!

Writing from the comfort and safety of my office in Singapore, I’m insulated and removed from persecution. So how should I respond to the sufferings of my fellow brothers and sisters? The author tells us to enter into their experience. “Remember those in prison, as if you were there yourself. Remember also those being mistreated, as if you felt their pain in your own bodies” (Hebrews 13:3).

Each year in November, Christians around the world are reminded to pray for the persecuted church—to feel the pain of those who’ve been imprisoned or suffered for the cause of Christ. Today let’s pray earnestly for their safety and deliverance, strength, perseverance, and boldness to stand firmly for Jesus (Acts 12:5; Ephesians 6:18-20; Hebrews 13:18; Philippians 1:19).

NLT 365-day reading plan passage for today: Acts 28:15-31

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4 Responses to “was i there?”

  1. roxanne robbins says:

    I think sometimes we neglect to pray for people that are suffering because we it’s painful even to imagine someone else’s their pain.

    Even if we can’t relate to someone’s situation, as you point out K.T., by praying for our persecuted brothers and sisters around the world, our empathy will develop.

  2. dabac says:

    Yes! I too often forgot to pray for B&S around the world (especially from other churches) who are persecuted because of Christ!
    I should do it a lot more, and we who are lucky to live in non-persecuting societies should remember more often to be thankful.

    • tom felten says:

      True, dabac. I’m grateful for the social media sources and other means of communication we have today. They allows us to to almost instantly learn of the struggles of our persecuted brothers and sisters in Jesus, prompting us to pray for them.

  3. winn collier says:

    I love your question to us: how are we to be present with, in solidarity with, our sisters and brothers who are suffering. When one part of the body suffers, all suffer.

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