As I was reading about Romanian believers who stood for Christ in the face of imprisonment, torture, and death, I thought of our Lord’s exhortation, “Do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul” (Matt. 10:28). All through church history, imprisoned and suffering Christians have found comfort in the assurance that God would deliver them—either back to their loved ones on earth or through death to the company of the saints already in heaven.
Although severe opposition to Christianity still exists in parts of the world, most of us don’t face life-threatening persecution. But all Christians experience faith-testing trials.
Dennis Byrd, a former professional football player who is making an amazing recovery from a paralyzing injury, spoke of his faith in Christ on a secular talk show. But a caller vehemently denounced him for an earlier appearance on a Christian television program. The caller’s hatred of Jesus Christ came through loud and clear.
Like believers down through the centuries, we can expect that we will be hated and attacked (John 15:18-19). But we need not be afraid. God is in control. He will defeat the forces of evil and honor His people. We too can say, “The Lord is on my side; I will not fear” (Ps. 118:6).
To be right with God may cause us to be in trouble with man.