Sooner or later, all Christians will face opposition, even persecution. Should that alarm us?
1. Why do we expect persecution?
The Bible clearly says: “All those desiring to live with godly devotion in association with Christ Jesus will also be persecuted.” (2 Timothy 3:12) Jesus was persecuted because he was no part of Satan’s world. We are also no part of the world, so we are not surprised when we are persecuted by this world’s governments and religious organizations.—John 15:18, 19.
2. How can we prepare for persecution?
We need to strengthen our trust in Jehovah now. Make time every day to pray to him and to read a portion of his Word. Attend congregation meetings regularly. These activities will give you the strength you need to face any persecution courageously, even if it comes from family members. The apostle Paul, who was often persecuted, wrote: “Jehovah is my helper; I will not be afraid.”—Hebrews 13:6.
We can also build our courage by preaching regularly. Preaching teaches us to trust in Jehovah and overcome any fear of man. (Proverbs 29:25) If you develop the courage to preach now, you will be well-prepared to keep preaching even if the government restricts our work.—1 Thessalonians 2:2.
3. How do we benefit by enduring persecution?
Of course, we do not enjoy being persecuted, but when we endure persecution successfully, our faith becomes stronger. We draw closer to Jehovah because we experience his help when we feel we can no longer go on. (Read James 1:2-4.) It hurts Jehovah to see us suffer, but it pleases him to see us endure. The Bible says: “If you endure suffering because of doing good, this is an agreeable thing to God.” (1 Peter 2:20) The reward Jehovah will give to all who endure faithfully is eternal life in a world free from opposition to true worship.—Matthew 24:13.
Review why it is possible and rewarding to stick loyally to Jehovah despite persecution.
4. You can endure family opposition
Jesus realistically acknowledged that our family may not support our decision to worship Jehovah. Read Matthew 10:34-36, and then discuss this question:
What can happen when a family member decides to serve Jehovah?
5. Keep worshipping Jehovah despite persecution
6. Jehovah will help you endure
In the video, what helped these Witnesses to endure?
How does this scripture assure you that you can endure any trial?
Read Matthew 5:10-12, and then discuss this question:
Why can you be happy in spite of persecution?
SOME PEOPLE SAY: “I couldn’t endure persecution.”
What scriptures might give them the confidence they need?
Jehovah treasures our efforts to serve him despite persecution. With his help, we can successfully endure!
Why should Christians expect persecution?
What can you do now to be ready when persecution comes?
What can help you to feel confident that you can serve Jehovah despite any trial?