Believers in Jesus Christ receive the crown of life. Let’s remember that before Jesus came, God had made a covenant with Abraham and his descendants. Jesus came so that the Gentiles might also be saved, and that atonement might be made for the sins of all of mankind. Jesus is the Lamb of God, and he was the perfect sacrifice for all of mankind. (see John 1:29, 36)
Believers are not promised an easy life in the Bible. We are warned in 2 Timothy 3:12 that those who desire to live godly in Jesus will suffer persecution. We must stop and realize that the enemy would not be attacking Christians so desperately if we did not possess something of great value.
Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him. (Jas 1:12 NIV, emphasis added)
Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer for ten days. But be faithful, even if you have to die, and I will give you the crown of life. (Rev 2:10 NCV, emphasis added)
Trials of various types test a Christian’s faith, develop endurance in their lives, and help develop spiritual maturity in them. We can all read in 1 Peter how Jesus responded to persecution:
Although he was abused, he never tried to get even. And when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he had faith in God, who judges fairly. (1 Pet 2:23 CEV)
The Lord will give every believer the sustaining grace that they need to go through such trials victoriously. We just need to hold onto our faith in God and in His ability to uphold and sustain us spiritually, mentally, and emotionally through persecution.
Let’s consider how we can stand firm in our resolve to continue speaking the Word of Life boldly, even under the threat of persecution.
Before persecution begins, we must prepare for it by cultivating the Word of God in our hearts. This means that we memorize various passages from the Bible and review them regularly to make sure we retain them.
Scripture teaches that we carry the Word of God in two places: in our mouths, and in our hearts (see Romans 10:8, and Deuteronomy 30:14). Remember this vital truth: Whenever persecution attempts to silence the Word that is in our mouths, it is the Word that is in our hearts which will sustain us.
We carry the incorruptible Seed of the Word of God in our mouths and in our hearts, and we cannot begin to fathom the fruit that will come from that Seed. Hold fast to the Seed that has been sown in your hearts, brothers and sisters! It will uphold and sustain you, along with the very real presence of the Prince of Peace who never leaves us. Glory to God!