I am reading Foxes Book of Martyrs right now. (The updated edition) I wish that I could express to you how quiet I want to be as a result of it. Not quiet about my faith, mind you, but rather quiet in general as I am overwhelmed with the sacrifices of the masses of Christians who represented Christ in the face of gruesome punishment. I’ll be honest with you, as I read about people who had their skin ripped open with fishhooks, and were placed on a giant gridiron and their bodies seared, people who were hung upside down by their feet and a great weight placed around their neck, I realize that I don’t have that kind of resolve. To be completely honest with you, I don’t know if I can ever have that kind of resolve. I guess I’m recognizing the necessity of God’s empowerment in the life a martyr to allow them to die as strongly as these before us have died. Reading this book has challenged me to pray daily that God will give me this kind of resolve. I have preached so consistently about the reality of persecution in the life of a believer that I can’t help but think that I will have to go through persecution at some point, God help me to stay fixated on you all the while.
Might I also recommend that you visit this website and sign up for their newsletter so that you can pray more diligently for the persecuted church in the world today.