You Can Endure Persecution
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?
To see an example of this, play the VIDEO, and then discuss the question that follows.
What would you do if a relative or a friend tried to discourage you from serving Jehovah?
Read Psalm 27:10 and Mark 10:29, 30. After reading each scripture, discuss this question:
How may this promise help you if you face opposition from family or friends?
5. Keep worshipping Jehovah despite persecution
It takes courage to serve Jehovah when others try to prevent us from doing so. Play the VIDEO, and then discuss the question that follows.
What about the examples in this video strengthens you?
Read Acts 5:27-29 and Hebrews 10:24, 25. After reading each scripture, discuss this question:
Why is it so important to continue worshipping Jehovah even if our preaching work or meetings are restricted?
6. Jehovah will help you endure
Jehovah’s Witnesses of varying ages and backgrounds have loyally continued to serve Jehovah even when they were persecuted. To see what helped them, play the VIDEO. Then discuss the question that follows.
In the video, what helped these Witnesses to endure?
Read Romans 8:35, 37-39 and Philippians 4:13. After reading each scripture, discuss this question:
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?
Watch a young brother explain how Jehovah helped him endure when he was imprisoned because of his neutrality.
Consider what helped one couple to serve Jehovah faithfully for many years despite opposition.
Learn how to face persecution courageously.
How should we view family opposition, and how can we successfully deal with the challenges it brings?
“The Truth Brings, ‘Not Peace, But a Sword’” (The Watchtower, October 2017)