3 Things Persecuted Christians Can Teach Us
by Renod Bejjani
What can persecuted Christians teach us? If you’re like most Christians I know, you’ve not had to deeply weigh a decision for Christ knowing that you might face communal pressure, shame, or death. It’s hard for us Westernized Christians to imagine what it’s like for new Believers to follow Jesus in Islamic-ruled nations. We are free to read our Bibles without persecution. We can worship and share our faith with anyone we like. We can freely choose to follow Jesus (or not) without compulsion. We are not like persecuted Christians.
My friend Nadalla didn’t have these same opportunities. He grew up in Syria in a large devout Muslim family. His father was an influential Islamic leader with multiple wives and children. As the son of his father’s first wife, Nadalla was set to receive a great inheritance. But God had other plans. Through a series of remarkable events, Nadalla overheard two people discussing Jesus. The conversation left him seeking the Truth, then renouncing Islam.
“Jesus changed my life from sadness to happiness He gave light to the dark place in my heart.” Nadalla
Nadalla was nineteen years old when we met. By then he had fled family and country to follow Jesus. He had endured multiple attempts on his life. Through fiery ongoing persecution, Nadalla went on to lead hundreds of Muslims to Christ and disciple them to do the same.
Lessons from Persecuted Christians
The persecution Nadalla faced amplifies three lessons for you and me:
- Our Father pursues us. Nadalla repeatedly heard God’s clear voice leading him away from Islam to Christ.
- Jesus is worth it all. Nadalla counted the costs before giving up family, wealth, and his country. He came to realize that his “sufferings of this present life are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is about to be revealed to us and in us” (Romans [8:18] AMP).
- You should risk sharing your faith. One man in Syria risked everything to tell another about Jesus. He didn’t know Nadalla overheard his conversation or that it would be a catalyst on Nadalla’s journey to Christ.
Stories from persecuted Christians like Nadalla, amplify the depth and weight of what it means to be a Christ-follower. If you believe what the Bible plainly declares—that God is calling a great multitude of people to be His own—this episode of the iHOPE Empowers podcast will awaken you to the wonderful, breathtaking privilege of being an Ambassador for Christ. You’ll be reminded anew that you serve a holy, living God and that following Jesus is worth it all.
Tags: Christ-follower, Ambassador for Christ, Glorify God, share the gospel, share the gospel across cultures, evangelism, persecuted Christians.