praise in persecution
People "will manhandle and persecute you." —Luke 21:12
"Anyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus can expect to be persecuted" (2 Tm 3:12). The Lord wants us to expect persecution. This expectation prepares and arms us for spiritual warfare (1 Pt 4:1). To help us expect persecution, the Lord has told us we will be manhandled, persecuted, arrested, and brought to trial because of our love for Him (Lk 21:12). We will "be delivered up" even by our "parents, brothers, relatives and friends," and some of us will be put to death (Lk 21:16).
We often react to the "good news" of persecution with denial, fear, or sadness. However, the Lord wants us to stand erect and hold our heads high (Lk 21:28). He wants us to be like Paul and Silas, who prayed and sang hymns in the midst of suffering persecution (Acts 16:25). Even at the time of the mass apostasy and as the seven final plagues are poured out on this earth (Rv 15:1), we should be "full of joy" for having "been judged worthy of ill-treatment for the sake of the Name" (Acts 5:41).
Under any conditions, we can sing: "Mighty and wonderful are Your works, Lord God Almighty! Righteous and true are Your ways, O King of the nations!" (Rv 15:3) In persecution, we will shout with all the angels and saints: "Alleluia! The Lord is King, our God, the Almighty! Let us rejoice and be glad, and give Him glory! For this is the wedding day of the Lamb" (Rv 19:6-7). Praise Him always and with special enthusiasm when you're privileged to be persecuted.
Prayer: Father, judge me worthy to be persecuted.
Promise: "Since You alone are holy, all nations shall come and worship in Your presence." —Rv 15:4
Praise: James gets up early to go to Mass before he goes to work.
Reference: (For a related teaching, order our leaflet, Spiritual Warfare, or on audio AV 57-3 or video V-57.)
Rescript: †Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, May 1, 2008
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