Opportunity in persecution?

Jesus warned his followers of a time that would come when they would face persecution because of his name.  He warned them of a time to come when they would stand trial before kings and governors because they were his followers.  Then he told them why this would happen.

…But this will be your opportunity to tell them about me.  Luke 21:12

Had they not heard this from him in advance, they might not have stood strong through the persecution to come as so many of them did.  They might have cried out to God – afraid and confused – “Why?!?”  They might have expected Jesus to return right then to put an end to the evil that contributed to the way they and many future generations to come of Christians would be treated simply because they declared Jesus is God and emphatically proclaimed him as the only way to heaven.  But instead they knew through an abundance of faith that whatever it was they had to experience during their short stay on earth had a purpose in heaven. 

And Jesus also told them to “make up their mind beforehand not to worry” as he assured them that he would be right there with them, promising to give them the “right words and such wisdom” that no one opposing them would stand a chance.  (Luke 21:14 & 15)

Each of us here on earth will experience some level of persecution due to our faith.  In some cases it will even come from those closest to us.  In some places we will be hated simply because we are followers of Christ.  (Luke 21:16 & 17)  But we must stand strong and see these situations as opportunities to testify about our Savior.  Who he is.  What he did.  And what it means for those that believe. 

The promise Jesus offers provides eternal assurance:  But not a hair of your head will perish.  Stand firm, and you will win life.  Luke 21:18 & 19

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