Persecution or Judgment?

Read this in the comment section of a blog post:

“How sad would it be to find out in the end that what we thought was persecution for our faith was actually the natural wrath of God in the world against our sins of pride and hate?”

I have often wondered the same thing. Persecution of Christians in America is more along the lines of wounded pride, we think we should have been taken more seriously, our opinions aren’t heard, which is summed up–we didn’t get our way.

Not getting your way leads to anger, anger leads to self-righteousness, self-righteousness to judgmentalism, and judgmentalism to our own judgment.

True Christian persecution is getting nailed for righteousness sake. We, being reinforced by our self-esteem driven Christianity, know we are all righteous, so we interpret everything through this self-righteous lens, so every misdeed against us is seen as true Christian persecution.

It isn’t. It’s you feeling bad for yourself for not getting your way and feeling self-righteous about it.

One of the best signs you are going through true Christian persecution is that you’re happy about it, not whining and sniveling about how rough it is to be you.

“But and if ye suffer for righteousness’ sake, happy are ye: and be not afraid of their terror, neither be troubled.”

Oh for more reasons to be happy!

2 thoughts on “Persecution or Judgment?”

  1. The happiness in persecution is a different kind than what people normally think of as happiness. Joy normally comes from the flesh or mind, when the senses are stimulated. These need not be sinful pursuits, but nevertheless, the humanity is involved.

    But persecution tends to cut off all the pleasures associated with the humanity. Instead, it threatens them with extinction. A soul facing this will easily be thrown into depression or discouragement.

    To compensate for this, the doors of heaven are opened wider to the soul, and happiness is derived from a higher source: the assurance of God’s smile, the knowledge that you are cooperating with heavenly agencies in the spiritual war, and the honor of being counted worthy to suffer with Christ.

    These are quite different joys, and so we must not be surprised when they don’t come through the same channels.

  2. The ESV translation has the word blessed instead of happy, which may be more appropriate to capture the emotion of suffering for truth. God’s Spirit will fill our hearts with His presence when we suffer for righteousness, but the text seems to suggest a emotion of confidence and assurance, not being troubled or fearful.

    “But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled,”

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