Many throughout history have been persecuted for faith in Jesus. In 2004 I went to Russia on a mission trip and met Pastor Alexander. He had been imprisoned in the gulag for years for passing out Christian tracts. I had never met a person imprisoned for their faith before. Through this experience, the Lord matured him in his faith and refined him as a person. His mature faith became like a strong oak tree as he returned to ministry with a greater zeal to disciple people and reach people for Jesus.
John the Baptist was Arrested
Mark 1:14Later on, after John was arrested, Jesus went into Galilee, where he preached God’s Good News.  John the Baptist prepared the way for Jesus and His ministry. When John rebuked King Herod for adultery, Herod put him in prison. (Matthew 14:3-12) John’s goal was for Herod to turn from his sin and turn toward God in repentance. He was not beyond the reach of the Lord’s forgiveness. Herod, sadly, would not turn from his sin and later had John executed.
Expect to be Persecuted as a Follower of Jesus
As a follower of Jesus, don’t be surprised to be met with opposition as you put your faith into action.
Mary and Joseph went to the Temple in Jerusalem for their purification offering after the birth of Jesus. At the temple, an older man, led by the Holy Spirit, gave a prophecy over the infant Jesus. Luke 2: 34 Then Simeon blessed them, and he said to Mary, the baby’s mother, “This child is destined to cause many in Israel to fall, and many others to rise. He has been sent as a sign from God, but many will oppose him. Jesus is opposed all over the world. Perhaps you have experienced persecution because of your faith in Jesus.
Jesus Gives Us Peace During our Trials
John 16:33 “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”  Jesus gives us peace in the storms of this world. We can be thankful for what Jesus did for us on the cross. His sacrifice is a gift to those who have placed their faith in Him. If you are persecuted today, take the hand of Jesus and let Him give you comfort, peace, and encouragement.
To hear about being persecuted for faith in Jesus, listen here:
[1-3] Tyndale House Publishers. (2015). Holy Bible: New Living Translation . Tyndale House Publishers.