Have I experienced persecution because of righteousness? Have I ever been so sold out to Jesus that the opposition would take notice? Well, that probably depends on my perspective and admittedly, I probably have a pretty low threshold for what constitutes persecution as well as whether or not it was for my faith in Jesus.
I see it, persecution of Christians around the world. The media reports and frankly sometimes the media acts as agents of persecution of Christians. The righteousness of Christ, the Cross, the Only One Way smacks of elitism, exclusivity, and foolishness to the World.
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. (1 Corinthians 1:18 NIV)
Any righteousness I have within me comes from Jesus:
It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.” (1 Corinthians 1:30-31 NIV)
If as a Christian, I sin and am persecuted by others for that sin…that is not persecution that brings the blessing of the Kingdom, but if I suffer with Christians who are persecuted, if I am persecuted for letting the love of Jesus out into the world. If I boast in the Lord and am opposed, then I am truly blessed.
So today I am thankful for the opportunity to live out my faith even knowing persecution in this world may come, because I know there is place for me in God’s Kingdom and I want others to come to know that also.