The jailer . . . was filled with joy because he had come to believe in God—he and his whole family. (Acts 16:34)
IT IS DIFFICULT to be a Christian, much less a Christian family, in the middle of Iraq. “When our relatives come from Baghdad, we need to move everything that is Christian,” the mother of one such family said. “In short, we are living two lives. It is very hard on children. We are adults, and it is hard for us to live double lives, but for children it is worse.” This particular family converted from Islam to Christianity in the middle of a religious culture that calls such a conversion “blasphemy.” Even so, they do what they can to live peacefully among a people group who are quite hostile to the gospel.
When Paul and Silas were supernaturally rescued from their prison, the jailer was ready to take his own life. He probably knew that he’d eventually be executed for allowing such valued prisoners to escape. And yet, those prisoners valued him. Paul and Silas presented the gospel to him and his family, and they believed.
We don’t know how the jailer’s family’s story unfolded after their conversion. Quite likely, they were persecuted like many families all over the world who live in places that are antagonistic toward Christ. Even so, to believe as a family means to have one another’s support, even during times of difficulty or persecution. There are families like this all over the world, holding up one another, encouraging one another in the faith.
Intercede in prayer today for the needs of persecuted families all over the world.
Doug Schmidt is a freelance writer and editor and is on staff with his church as a small-groups coach.