That's exactly what I woke up thinking this morning; what's the definition of persecution.
persecute - 1. To oppress or harass with ill-treatment, especially because of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or beliefs.
2. To annoy persistently; bother.
We can be paranoid and exaggerate. But I personally don't think one has to do so to see a true believer in Yesu will have trials, tribulations, aka, persecutions. "Take up your cross..."
I ran a little scripture search on persecution;
"Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account
. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven
, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
"If the world hates
you, know that it has hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you. —John 15:18-20
...encouraging them to continue in the faith, and saying that through many tribulations
we must enter the kingdom of God.
As it is written,
"For your sake we are being killed [spiritually] all the day long
we are regarded
as sheep to be slaughtered."
2 Corinthians 4:8-11
We are afflicted
in every way, but not crushed; perplexed
, but not driven to despair; persecuted
, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; ["EXPERIENCE OF THE CROSS"] always carrying in the body the death of Jesus
, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh.
—2 Corinthians 4:8-11
2 Timothy 3:12
Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted
1 Peter 4:12-14
...If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.
1 Peter 4:16
Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name.
Thought; God said the world hates Him, and would hate true believers who stand for the truth. So why would a God-hating world want to admit their persecution of Christians? I think they would tend to minimize it, normalize it, and villify the recipient. Persecution to death? Many places in the world. From www.freerepublic.com
- More Christians have been killed for their faith in the 20th century than have been martyred in the total history of Christianity.
In America? NOT YET. Pray that God intervenes and heals us individually, and our nation as a whole.
Count it all joy! Pray for those who persecute you. Seek first the Kingdom of God!
God has never lost control.