Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. (1 Pet. 3:13–14)

YOU CANNOT TURN ON THE NEWS, scan Facebook, or read a newspaper without learning about Christians being persecuted. How easy it would be to huddle in fear, wary of every shadow. Yet that is not the behavior we see in persecuted Christians. Time and again, these brave warriors of the truth face violence, vandalism, and even death without retaliating. These persecuted faithful are living out Peter’s words. What a proclamation of the gospel!

Jesus knew what it was like to have the mobs against Him. He warned His disciples that the world would hate them because it hated Him (John 15:18). All of the faithful apostles, except John, along with many others were martyred for their faith.

Perhaps religious hatred and intolerance will never darken your door; however, Christians have frequently suffered in one form or another for taking the narrow path. More than ever, we must stick together, defend each other, and support one another. Let us not bicker among ourselves but turn our hearts back to Christ in reverence. Whether a boss wants you to betray your ethics, family members ridicule your faith, or a terrorist points a gun at your head and demands that you recant your beliefs, stand firm. You are not of this world but are called to be a witness that eternity lies beyond this life.

Resist the urge to strike back at those who oppose you.

Julie B. Cosgrove is a widowed Christian author and speaker who lives in Fort Worth, Texas. She is involved with women’s and outreach ministries.