In January 2021, Forbes Magazine published a sobering article titled “One in Eight Christians Worldwide Live in Countries Where They May Face Persecution.” Over 340 million believers in Jesus remain faithful to Jesus in countries where they endure personal attacks and discrimination for their commitment to the gospel. Thousands of Christ-followers are displaced from their homes, imprisoned, or killed daily.  

I read this article as I sat safely at my comfortable kitchen table eating a bowl of oatmeal. The greatest persecution I have ever faced was someone angrily raising their voice in disagreement with my beliefs. Never have I feared for my life or felt anxious about losing my freedom. I can’t help but wonder how I would respond in the face of such tribulation. 

I know that there are beautiful women all around the world reading these words who are facing daily oppression. You have been outcast by your family for following Jesus. You’ve lost everything this world holds dear, but you have won Christ. I stand in awe of your faith. 

Your faith reminds me of Esther, and I pray for God to give me the sacrificial faith that sings, “I Surrender All” no matter what adversity may come. 

The courage to keep the faith when everything is stripped away and your life is barren does not come from within. This resilient faith only comes from God.  

Esther knew God. She feared God more than she feared losing her own life. Instead of allowing herself to silently despair, she trusted God was sovereign over her circumstances.  She moved forward because she believed God was faithful.

To the eyes of the watching world, her life may have hung in the balance, but she was always safely held in God’s loving hands. Every moment of our lives is under His authority, and He will give us the strength we need as we submit to His will. Our Deliverer never fails to show up and save His people.  

A lesson we can all learn from Esther is how to respond to the unthinkable. Her world had suddenly turned to ashes, and all around her, the people she loved were weeping. Instead of letting anxiety overwhelm her heart, she turned to prayer. She pleaded for God’s mercy and cried out for wisdom. 

When the enemy tries to undo you, turn to prayer. Prayer arms us with the strength we need.

When your doubt is speaking louder than your faith, cry out for God’s help. If everything around you gives way, look up to God. He will uphold you. God is always solid ground under your feet. 

Death does not get the final word in our lives, friends. Jesus has defeated death on our behalf, and one day He will wipe it away forever. Until then, may God give us faith for such a time as this. If we perish, we will see Jesus face to face.  

Your world is secure in God’s mighty hands. You belong to the King of Kings. Your heavenly Father is seated on His throne in heaven, and you can come boldly before His throne of grace today for help in your time of need.

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Lyli Dunbar

Lyli Dunbar

Lyli Dunbar enjoys singing silly karaoke in the car with her husband, digging into Bible study with the girls, and reading twelve books at a time. A writer, speaker, and Biblical Life Coach, her mission is to encourage the weary hearted with fuel for a wildfire faith. Stop by lylidunbar.com to grab faith fuel for your day or connect with her on Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest.

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