In Chains for Christ

“As it is written, ‘For your sake we are being killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.’”—Romans 8:36 (ESV)
There’s no way around it, suffering isn’t fun. It’s painful and difficult. It tests and stretches us in ways we never wanted to be stretched. In the Greek, the word for suffering is pathéma, which means to endure and undergo misfortune, calamity, evil, or affliction. Needless to say, it’s not something one endures lightly or with a smile.
In today’s verse, we see the apostle Paul use Psalm 44:22 to describe the situation believers in that time were facing. You see, believers were being persecuted by the Jewish leaders well before the Roman persecution began. We see this in Acts, as well as the writings of Peter and Paul.
So, just as it applied to the Israelites during the days of the psalmist—who were frequently put to death or persecuted by men for their faithfulness to God—it applied to the early Christians and to us today. While believers in many parts of the world are not yet put to death or physically persecuted for their faith in Christ—in some countries it does happen, and for us, that day may soon be coming—they are outcast, ridiculed, mocked, insulted, and alienated for Christ’s sake. Nowadays, it seems as though being a Christian is bordering on a criminal activity in the eyes of a great many people.
But if we look at the entirety of Paul’s thoughts here in Romans, we see he asks if there’s anything that can separate us from the love of Christ—tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, danger, or even the sword. And his conclusion? “No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Romans 8:37 ESV).
So as the persecution of Christ-followers continues and worsens, I pray that the manner in which we respond may, like it did for Paul in Philippians 1:12–13, serve to advance the gospel! I pray others will know that we are in chains for Christ, and that our suffering would lead to changed lives! I pray we remember that, even if we face death all day long, around every corner, that nothing can separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord (Romans 8:39).
DIG: Read Romans 8:31–39 and Philippians 1:1–14.
DISCOVER: Have you experienced suffering or persecution for being a Christian?
DISPLAY: Pray that, as the persecution and alienation of believers continues, that the Lord would strengthen, comfort, and embolden us to endure it.

About the Author

Danny Saavedra

Danny Saavedra has served on the staff of Calvary since 2012, managing the Calvary Devotional and digital discipleship resources. He has a Master of Arts in Pastoral Counseling and Master of Divinity in Pastoral Ministry from Liberty Theological Seminary. His wife Stephanie, son Jude, and daughter Zoe share a love of Star Wars, good food, having friends over for dinner, and studying the Word together as a family.