Listen to this devotional:
1 Peter 5:9 – Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that your brothers throughout the world are undergoing the same kind of sufferings. (NIV)
It's not often that the media focus on someone who is a Christian, especially if his views are conservative, scriptural, and unyielding. Usually they try to take apart a believer's character and reveal his flaws, in the hope that any faithful testimony will be made ineffective and obscure. In every generation, however, a Christian individual appears on the scene, whose firm resolve and dedication to the truth of the gospel brings suffering, injustice, and persecution upon himself. That's when the media get interested.
It happened to Martin Luther in the sixteenth century. Two hundred years later, John Wesley and George Whitefield suffered for their beliefs. In the twentieth century, the likes of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Martin Luther King, Jr., were killed because of their adherence to their faith, which brought them into fatal conflict with the authorities and society.
Today, an Afghan called Abdul Rahman is on trial for his life, not because he murdered someone, or planted a terrorist bomb, or caused some sort of evil disaster. Abdul is on trial for his life simply because he is a Christian. Recently, in a prison in Kabul, Afghanistan, he told reporters, "I am not an infidel or a fugitive. I am a Christian. If they want to sentence me to death, I accept that."
Peter exhorts us to resist the devil and stand firm in our faith because our brothers and sisters in Christ are suffering. In his time, that was usually true because Christians were persecuted all over the Roman Empire. Today, however, whilst Abdul Rahman stands up for his faith and puts his life on the line for Christ, we must ask ourselves this question: Would we be willing to suffer the same?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, today we pray for a man whom we do not know personally but have heard about through the media. They have become the vessels of Your news about this man, whose courage, dignity, and faith are far and above anything that we have known or experienced. We pray for his release and safety, but more than this, we pray for the effectiveness of his Christian testimony throughout the world. In Your holy name, we pray. Amen.