At Global Catalytic Ministries, we believe Christians can and should thrive in persecution, not simply survive it. In fact, in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus blesses those persecuted for righteousness and encourages them to rejoice, promising a great reward.
As seen in the persecuted church’s growth amidst severe trials, there is a true Kingdom exchange available for the persecuted church: our weakness for God’s strength.
A Story of Survival
Two disciple makers in the Middle East had an encounter that put this theology to the test. While hiking in nearby mountains they met Taliban fighters and were abducted. They quickly realized they were not going to make it out of the situation alive and began to pray, asking Jesus to help them.
What followed was a true exchange of weakness for strength. While we can and should be prepared to die for the sake of the gospel, in this instance the two disciple-makers felt a sudden, overwhelming courage to fight back.
Though one was stabbed and the other shot in the exchange, they managed to run away from their abductors and down the mountain, finding a police checkpoint and transportation to a hospital for medical treatment.
Glorify Christ In Persecution
Of course, we recognize that not all who face persecution survive. However, survival is not our ultimate goal. We seek to glorify Christ with our lives, whatever that looks like. In this story, God chose to spare these two disciple makers so that they may continue to make disciples a while longer.
While it may seem counterintuitive to face death and continue making disciples therefore continuing to risk their lives, for those who understand persecution it is the clear path.
By embracing the biblical understanding of persecution, Christians can make peace with suffering, recognizing it as a source of blessing both on Earth and in Heaven. It’s time for the global church to redefine its perception of persecution, freeing believers to thrive in all circumstances and serve Jesus regardless of the cost.