Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name.

—1 Peter 4:16

It seems like many churchgoers today love to cry “persecution” at the first sign of resistance to their faith. But the truth is that throughout this history of the church, believers have actually taken pride in being persecuted for what they believe.

Take the very first church outside Jerusalem in the city of Antioch. The unbelievers around them mockingly called them Christians, which means “little Christs.” Now, you didn’t have Christian activists argue against such a title. No, the church embraced the title and considered it an honor to bear such a name.

Real persecution can be harsh and cruel. Yet it really is an honor to suffer for the sake of Christ. And while most of us will never have our lives threatened for our faith, you can be sure millions around the world today who worship not knowing if this is the last day they’ll live understand the honor of persecution.

So pray for our brothers and sisters around the world today who face serious persecution for their faith. And when persecution comes your way, consider it an honor to suffer for Christ’s sake because He first suffered for you. There’s no greater encouragement in times of persecution than to know your suffering is for the greatest cause on earth!

BE ENCOURAGED WHEN YOU FACE PERSECUTION, CONSIDERING IT AN HONOR TO SUFFER FOR CHRIST BECAUSE HE SUFFERED FOR YOU.