1 Thessalonians 3:4 For even when we were with you, we warned you plainly in advance that we were going to experience persecution; and so, as you know, it has come to pass.
We all go through trials and tribulations in life. And as followers of Jesus, we all experience persecution to some degree. But we don’t go through any of this alone. God strengthens us in these times. His presence is always with us, even when we cannot feel it. He walks with us through all our valleys, sustaining us. Therefore, we need to keep in communion with Him—leaning into Him even more.
We should never give in to the temptation to walk away from our faith. That should never be an option, because even unbelievers face trials in life, so we can’t escape it. But how much better it is, though, to go through the struggles of life with Jesus, than without Him. And when we suffer on account of our faith, count it all joy! After all, it is not with us ‘personally’ that some unbelievers may feel agitated or antagonistic towards, it’s with Jesus. They persecute and mock those of us who represent Jesus. So, we shouldn’t take it personally.
Granted, some unbelievers are against the church as a whole because of how they view the church. And that’s possibly because of some bad experience with Christians. They watch how some Christians defend the faith in a hostile or argumentative way without any real love, or some wrongdoing by a few who call themselves ‘Christian’ or those who have fallen from grace. Whatever the reason, unfortunately, this is all that some know of the church, and therefore, they may view all Christians through that lens.
We need to pray for them for they know not what they do (or say) and pray for our fellow Christians who suffer extreme persecution for their faith.