“And they arrested them and put them in custody…” (Acts 4:3) In reading through the book of Acts, we repeatedly see the followers of Jesus arrested by the authorities or mobbed and beaten – and sometimes worse – by the citizens. These things weren’t simply a one-time occurrence, an aberration from the norm. No, they happened over and over.
Christ’s followers suffered persecution. But of course they did. Jesus Himself promised that it would happen. “Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves. Beware of men, for they will deliver you over to courts and flog you in their synagogues, and you will be dragged before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them and the Gentiles.” (Matthew 10:16-18) He said it even more succinctly in John’s gospel account, “If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you.” (John 15:20)
The Apostle Paul knew well what he was saying when he emphatically declared, “Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.” (2 Timothy 3:12)
As a Christian, you will likely be persecuted.
But I’ve got some good news for you. Jesus also promised that He would never leave us. He gave His eternal Word and His Holy Spirit to strengthen and bolster our faith even during difficult times. And, once our few short years here on earth are done, we get eternity in the presence of God Almighty.