3 Things Persecuted Christians Can Teach Us

by | Jul 19, 2021 | Culture

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.

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.

Nadalla was 19 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 on-going persecution, Nadalla went on to lead hundreds of Muslims to Christ and disciple them to do the same.

The persecution he faced amplifies three lessons for you and me:

1. Our Father pursues us. Nadalla repeatedly heard God’s clear voice leading him away from Islam to Christ.

2. 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” (Rom. 8:18, AMP).

3. Risk sharing your faith. Two men in Syria risked everything to talk about Jesus. They didn’t know their conversation would be a catalyst on Nadalla’s journey to Christ.

My friend’s powerful story amplifies 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 iHOPE Empowers on Charisma Podcast Network 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. {eoa}

Hosts Renod and Karen Bejjani founded iHOPE Ministries to change the way everyday Christians think about sharing their faith with people of other faiths and cultures. Since 2011, iHOPE has empowered tens of thousands of Christians to live as authentic Christian witnesses among their neighbors of another faith.

Renod endured intense persecution as a Christian raised in Islamic countries. He spent decades filled with anger at God and hatred toward Muslims. Today, he serves the God he once denied, extending God’s transforming love to the people he once hated. Renod is the author of Muslims: 5 Biblical Essentials, a primer for Christians who are curious or concerned about Muslims, and The Way to Paradise, a groundbreaking Bible study tailored for Muslim seekers.

While Renod grew up in Islamic nations, Karen never knew Muslims existed. She pursued the American Dream and built a successful career as a corporate executive. Now she emboldens everyday Christians to share Jesus across religious boundaries. Karen is the author of The Blue Cord, a catalyst for Christian women who know they should be sharing their faith.

The Bejjanis’ powerful stories and timeless principles have catalyzed everyday Christians to live as authentic Christian witnesses to people of other faiths who live among us. When they’re not empowering others, the Bejjanis spend their time hiking through forests and enjoying good Lebanese food with family and friends.

Read articles like this one and other Spirit-led content in our new platform, CHARISMA PLUS.

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

How the Holy Spirit Can Restore Your True Sanity

How the Holy Spirit Can Restore Your True Sanity

Most of my life I tried to avoid one thing—being crazy or insane. When I was growing up my mother had emotional issues and saw a psychiatrist regularly. She was on medication which only seemed to make her mood swings worse. She had high highs, and low lows. When I...

Israel Prophecy: The Enemy is Stirring an Unimaginable Conflict

Israel Prophecy: The Enemy is Stirring an Unimaginable Conflict

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJFFqAgykmU A cease-fire between Israel and Palestinian militants took effect late Sunday in a bid to end nearly three days of violence that killed dozens of Palestinians and disrupted the lives of hundreds of thousands of Israelis,...

Why Partial Obedience to God is Disobedience

Why Partial Obedience to God is Disobedience

My husband had a saying for our children growing up. “Partial obedience is disobedience.” He wanted them to understand that doing half the plan would not get them the full reward. Another reminder we used to tell our kids was, “Don’t think about it, don’t hesitate,...

Kingdom Economics: Why is America Declining Spiritually So Quickly?

Kingdom Economics: Why is America Declining Spiritually So Quickly?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released a surprisingly strong July Employment Report.  Total nonfarm employment was 528K (398K previously, 250K expected).  Private nonfarm employment was 471K (404K previously, 230K expected). The headline unemployment rate dropped to...

Can You Discern Spiritual Wind?

Can You Discern Spiritual Wind?

The wind is a funny thing. We do not know where it comes from nor where it goes. We cannot see it, but we can see and feel its effects. Wind can be gentle and refreshing, cold or hot, strong, and dangerous, and everything in between. When the wind blows, we must...

Messianic Rabbi: He That Has an Eye, Let Him Hear

Messianic Rabbi: He That Has an Eye, Let Him Hear

It is interesting that, as a Messianic rabbi the question I am asked most often by Christians is if I believe that they as Christians have to celebrate, or observe, the biblical Holy Days. They are usually asking about those days listed in Leviticus 23: Shabbat, Yom...

How the Holy Spirit Is Preparing America

How the Holy Spirit Is Preparing America

As the crackdown against Christianity in America grows, it is a cycle believers have seen before. While no one celebrates their religious freedom coming under attack, God has used this persecution to great effect throughout history. Over the centuries, there have been...

RECENT ARTICLES

Dealing Effectively with the Dynamics of Change

Change can be challenging. Some people look forward to change and embrace it. Some people dread change and try to avoid it. Since change is inevitable, so here are some of the dynamics surrounding...
God’s Holy Interruption Is Coming Soon

God’s Holy Interruption Is Coming Soon

This past weekend I preached at The Roads Church, a charismatic congregation located in the tiny town of Norris City, Illinois. Located amid cornfields, the population is only 1,325, but almost that many people visit the church on weekends. They come from all over...

The Biblical Way to Rise Above Mediocre Expectations

The Biblical Way to Rise Above Mediocre Expectations

We spend a lot of life figuring out if we “measure up,” a phrase someone coined in the mid-1800s. Even in childhood, we begin comparing ourselves with siblings and kids at school, and it never seems to stop. The problem goes back to Cain and Abel, doesn’t it? Most of...

A Better Way to Witness to Others for Christ

A Better Way to Witness to Others for Christ

”Don’t you see how wonderfully kind, tolerant, and patient God is with you? Does this mean nothing to you? Can’t you see that his kindness is intended to turn you from your sin?” (Rom. 2:4). Looking retrospectively at my past as an atheist, I can see where God...

Why Does God Want Us to Speak with Tongues?

Why Does God Want Us to Speak with Tongues?

Why speak with tongues? There are many reasons for speaking in a spiritual language. Primarily, though, the Scriptures require it. The apostle Paul commanded us, saying, “Pray in the Spirit always” (Eph. 6:18). Jude commanded it in verse 20, saying, “Pray in the Holy...

Pin It on Pinterest

[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]