“It is better to suffer for doing good than for doing wrong if that is what God wants.” – 1 Peter 3:17
There were many people who were martyred for their faith, especially in the early centuries of Christianity during Nero’s and Diocletian’s reign as emperors. Christians suffered and died refusing to deny Jesus as their Lord. They knew what was in store for them even if they had to suffer. They knew suffering for a short time is better than turning against God, especially if it is in the will of God like it was for Jesus.
One famous martyr was Polycarp, a bishop from Smyrna. He was in his eighties when he was martyred for refusing to deny being a servant of Jesus. He told his persecutors “For eighty-six years I have been His servant and He has never done me wrong. How can I blaspheme my King who saved me?” He was burned alive, but when the fire did not kill him, his persecutors killed him with a sword.
If it is in God’s will for us to suffer for doing the right thing like Polycarp, then we are blessed and will be exalted by Him. That is the reason we want to remember the brave believers who stood up for their faith. They were real people who suffered a lot and are worth remembering.
Prayer of the day:
Dear heavenly Father,
Many people had to suffer for their faith. It is important to remember them to honor You. You gave them the strength to stand firm even during the pain. It is worth it because You get the glory during the times of suffering and pain. We want to remember Polycarp for his courage, faithfulness and love he had for Jesus. Help us to stand firm and give us the strength to stand up for Jesus, too. In His precious name, we pray, Amen!
Maier L. Paul. Eusebius: The Church History (Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel Publication, 1999, 2007) 132 ↩︎