A few years back, I ministered in Bulgaria and then Hungary. While in Hungary, I met a young man who told me his father was a leader with Hamas.  Hamas is a known terrorist organization with a special hatred for Jews and Christians.  My young friend told me that when he became a Christian, he had to flee the region and country to get away from his father and his family.  You see, anyone in his immediate family would kill him; he is considered an infidel, an apostate from the pure faith of Islam.  His faith cost him something.  

Jesus said, “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake…for great is your reward in heaven.” Today, there are millions of people around the world persecuted, thrown in jail, beaten, tortured, killed, starved, and otherwise unfairly treated because of their outspoken faith in Jesus Christ and I’m bugged because my stupid satellite dish doesn’t offer METV, a network with all the great shows from the 70s. OK… I don’t have it so bad. I’m glad I haven’t experienced the brutal persecution happening in so many places on earth.  Still, many people in the US have faced persecution of a different sort.  Some have been fired from good jobs or not given promotions because of their faith.  Many others have been ridiculed privately and publically; many Christians have lost their family and friends as they have been “disowned.”  It seems the only target Hollywood has free reign to take potshots at are Christians.  The animosity is growing. 

James, the half-brother of Jesus, put it this way: “Count it all joy when you face various trials, knowing the testing of your faith produces patience…so that you will be lacking nothing.”  Our faith will cost us something but we grow in Christ here and the everlasting payoff is nice.  

Stupid satellite.