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How do Persecuted Christians Find Joy?

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A movie I watched had this great story line (minus the anti-God statement). Two kids venture into the forest and it comes alive, but it doesn’t really come alive with mythical figures. It’s really just the children’s imagination. Secret places of escape can be in your mind.

When I watch the persecuted church, I can’t imagine living in a place where you could be put to death for your beliefs. When I look into the faces in the photographs and read the headlines, the first question that oddly pops up in my mind is: How do they find joy?

How do they find laughter in the every day knowing that day could be their last? Or that they could face years of torture, pain, and imprisonment for a belief in Christ?

The mind is a wonderful instrument. Like the movie, we can disappear to a different place, focus on the Bible verses we love, and find courage in the mundane. That’s how I look at persecuted Christians. God must give them an escape, a peace that “defies understanding.” Like an abused child can go into her imagination to be free, the persecuted Christian must find small escapes and simple joys where even their enemies can’t reach.

In reading the stories, I see my life in a different light. In America, we’re all a couple of paychecks from homelessness. The delicate balance we strive to keep could crumble. If we lost everything, what would we value? What would we have left?

Would you still find joy? Or would your circumstances grow you bitter?