The world has always fought against righteousness, godly virtues, and faithfulness to God. When we live godly lives, we will inevitably face antagonism from the ungodly. We will constantly be challenged to compromise and abandon our beliefs and morals.

Worldly people hate the Truth because it condemns their self-indulgence, sinfulness, and pride, and they will oppose anyone who stands for Truth. “In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evildoers and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived” (2 Timothy 3:12-13).

Persecution—whether extreme and violent, or subtle and manipulative—will happen to every Christian at some point in their lives if they are walking by faith. The only Christians who escape opposition to their values, faith, lifestyle, and godly character are those who either shelter themselves from the world or those who have masked their Christianity by conforming to the world.

Jesus modeled for us the proper balance. He walked among the worldly without becoming like them. He mingled with sinners, but He never sinned. He showed them God’s love and spoke the Truth without compromise. Even when He faced betrayal and torture and an excruciating death, Jesus stood for Truth because He knew the eternal significance of His sacrifice.

Whatever may intimidate us about the ungodly—their vulgarities, profanities, or obscenities or their condescension toward Christians—we must always remember that they are in desperate need of salvation. We must be willing to risk rejection and ridicule because their eternal lives are at stake.

Prayer: Lord, when I feel as though I am being persecuted for my faith, help me to remember that those who are persecuting me need to be shown Your love. Help me to find that balance of being in the world but not becoming like the world. I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.

“But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back” (Luke 6:35).

Check out more from Dr. Michael Youssef, here!

About The Author

Dr. Michael Youssef, Ph.D.

Even before he was born, it is clear that God had a vision for Michael Youssef. His mother was in poor health when she became pregnant with Michael, and because his life was in danger at the time of birth, the doctor recommended terminating the pregnancy. An abortion was scheduled. But God intervened and sent the family pastor to reassure them that God was involved in this pregnancy. He told them not to be afraid and that the child would be "born to serve the Lord." Michael's parents accepted the pastor's message as a message from God and obeyed. His mother gave birth, and lived to see him give his life to the Lord at the age of sixteen.

Believing that God had called him out of Egypt, Michael sought an exit visa in a time in which no university student was allowed to have a passport or leave the country. God intervened again, and miraculously he managed to acquire a visa. He immigrated to Australia, where he studied at Moore Theological College in Sydney, was ordained as a pastor, and met Elizabeth who became his wife.

The Youssefs came to America in 1977, and in 1978 Michael received a master's degree in theology at Fuller Theological Seminary in California. Then he earned a doctorate in social anthropology at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Michael served nearly ten years in the Haggai Institute, traveling around the world more than 32 times, teaching courses in evangelism and leadership. He rose to the position of Managing Director at the age of 31 years. The family settled in Atlanta, and in 1984, Michael became a citizen of the United States, making his dream of many years come true.

He founded The Church of The Apostles in 1987 with fewer than 40 adults with the mission of "Equipping the Saints and Searching for the Lost". The church has since grown to be a congregation of over 3,000 people today. This church has driven the international ministry of Leading the Way. While it is heard by millions at home and abroad, behind every message preached through radio waves, is the heart of a pastor, willing to nurture and care for these people. Clearly God has uniquely equipped Dr. Youssef to speak to a global audience. The path he has taken has given him an understanding and firm grasp of the Scriptures that transcend cultures. He preaches, teaches and calls with a sincere, based on the authority of the inerrant, inspired Word of God. With his personal knowledge of the Holy Land, its history and culture, Dr. Michael Youssef transmits life to listeners all over the world.

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