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Persecution

Over the centuries, followers of Jesus have recognized the connection between their own persecution, suffering and death and that of their Lord and Savior. One such disciple, a Mennonite woman named Adriaenken of Molenaarsgraaf, wrote to her husband from prison in Dordrect prior to her execution at the stake on March 28, 1572: “Hence we are of good cheer; whatever the Lord suffers to come upon us is all for our good, for in tribulation he forgives sin; therefore his holy will be done for our profit, that is, for our salvation, which is our greatest desire, wherefore we endure everything, and are patient, according to the example of Job, the prophets, the apostles, and the end of our Lord, and other martyrs after them.” (Thieleman J. van Braght, Martyr’s Mirror [Herald Press, 1938], 897–929.)

The lesson for us is not that we should be looking for opportunities to suffer or deliberately choosing the hard way, but that the way of discipleship is the one to which God calls us. Not all of it will necessarily be hard, but if we find it all easy, we should examine ourselves to see if we are truly following Jesus.

 
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