Yesterday we looked at why life sometimes can be so hard, when we have the God of the universe on our side. It should be easier right. Not necessarily.
Some of our suffering comes about because of sin, either our own wrong choices as David’s did, Psalm 31:9-10, and Psalm 51, or the choices of others e.g. the persecution David suffered from Saul that stemmed from Saul’s own insecurity and sins. See 1 Samuel 18:8 and the following chapters.
When we look at what Jesus taught his disciples, we find he taught them to expect tribulation and persecution, Luke 21:12, John 15:20, John 16:33.
In today’s world, much of the suffering Christians undergo in some countries is caused by those who have opposing views.
Where would you expect to be the top country where Christians are persecuted?
I have to say the answer surprised me. When I asked around, no-one else came up with the right answer either. This perhaps shows how ignorant we can be about what goes on outside our own country. Just because it’s not happening where we live and we are not being persecuted to the point of death, doesn’t mean it’s not happening.
In counties like USA and Australia, persecution can take a more subtle form. Someone said to me recently, they find people will readily listen to what those from another religion e.g. Hindu or Buddhist, or someone from a homosexual or lesbian lifestyle, have to say and be respectful of their views.
Yet these same people are scathing and derogatory about the Christian view, to the point of making snide comments in the Christian’s presence, publicly ridiculing their beliefs. Often these detractors will come right out and say anyone who believes the bible’s teaching and the gospel message ‘needs to have their head examined’ or can’t be ‘an intelligent, rational person. They will not even consider the Christian might be offended by such comments. I overheard such an example today and I know how it made me feel.
Others times the words are not said but certainly implied. It often seems Christians are expected to be tolerant of other points of view but are not shown the same courtesy. Would you agree?
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