Standing Under Persecution
by Jean Mulquin
“Blessed and happy and enviably fortunate and spiritually prosperous (in the state in which the born-again child of God enjoys and finds satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of his outward conditions) are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake (for being and doing right), for theirs is the kingdom of heaven!” Matthew 5:10 (AMP)
We were evicted from the first church we had our Wednesday night Bible studies in.
Katie had been invited to speak one Saturday evening, so I invited my friends that ran a halfway house to bring their guys. I wanted them to hear her testimony because I knew they would be encouraged and blessed.
The following Monday, we were called into a meeting with the church leadership. One of the elders had seen the guys smoking roll-your-own cigarettes in the parking lot before the service and assumed they were smoking pot. During the meeting, he looked at Katie and said “We don’t want your friends here. We have children in this church!” Katie said, “Those guys weren’t my friends. I don’t even know them.”
I had been helping this same man with the Sunday school department for quite some time, and he was taken aback when I said, “I was the one that invited them to come and hear Katie speak. She had no idea they were coming!”
Nonetheless, they asked us not to meet at the church for our Bible studies anymore, because they did not want “those kind of people in their church.” As we left the building that night, I said to John, “This just hurts my heart. I’m afraid this is the death knell for this church.” Sadly enough, they were no longer a congregation within about three months.
Another time we were asked to leave a women’s meeting because Katie told her story and used the word “healing” to describe what God had done in her soul and body. It was evident that the leadership had not read Katie’s book that was given to them, or we would never have been invited there to start with. We found out later that the woman in leadership who got so upset had been suffering from cancer for a long time and sadly did not believe that God heals today.
Yet another time, the first time Katie taught on the Light of Christ at a women’s conference, the leadership waited almost to the end of her teaching and began questioning her, stating that they didn’t need the light. All they needed was the blood of Christ. I was so proud of Katie. She stood her ground and said, “Of course we need the blood of Christ. It’s the blood that covers and takes away our sin, but don’t you want everything that He died to give us?” She went on to explain all of the scriptural background for light and dunamis. Her calm and peaceful answers kept us from being ejected that time!
Years passed and things shifted to where we got used to people loving and supporting us, so when animosity raised its ugly head again, it took us completely by surprise! We had an incident at a local park regarding our outreach to women inmates. Their basic stance was that we were doing a good work that they’d rather we did it elsewhere.
When things like the above happen, we must stop and remember the above verse, and realize that we are blessed and it is for His sake that we are persecuted.
Father, help us to stand up under persecution and to know what we believe and why!
Have you ever been persecuted for your faith in Christ? Has there been a time when you had to defend your friends because of their past, how they look, or what they believe? If so, remember Matthew 5:10 and rejoice for yours is the Kingdom of Heaven!
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