When I talk about the persecution of Christians, what is the first thing you think about? I suspect that some would think of Christians here in America who are being made fun of for their faith. I also suspect that others would think of Christians in the Middle East, who are killed for their belief in Jesus. Still, I think that some would think of something else. Either way, we have no reason to expect persecution to go away.
Persecution is part of the Christian life. In Christ, we have become children of God. The world hates this. The world sees us as its enemy because of our relationship with God through Christ. Persecutions come for a variety of reasons, but they must not be our focus.
While He was still on earth, Jesus warned His disciples about persecution. He made it clear that, since He was persecuted, those who followed Him would be persecuted also. He was right. Christians around the world are persecuted daily for the faith. Some estimates place the number of Christians martyred each year for their faith at around 150,000 per year. The crazy thing is that this number could actually be higher!
We don't experience persecution of this level here in America. However, we need the same thing that Christians in the Middle East need when it comes to overcoming persecution. Our solution to persecution is to look to Jesus.
Jesus was persecuted because of the truth He claimed. Yet He did not argue back against His persecutors. He did not attack them, but discouraged Peter when Peter did. He did not curse at His enemies. He did not become angry or upset or hurl insults at the Romans who were leading Him to be crucified. Rather, He said, "Father, forgive them." He prayed for them!!
This is why we need to look to Jesus. We need to make our attitude like His, in both good times and bad. Look to Him. He is, was, and always will be, our Example.