Famous evangelist Billy Graham says to “prepare for persecution” in a recent article for Charisma News.
The 96-year-old evangelist acknowledged that American Christians have enjoyed relative immunity to persecution in the past. But, Graham asks, if persecution were to descend on Christians in America, would they stay true to their faith?
Graham then provides “five ways to fortify yourself so that you will be able to stand in that day.”
Firstly, Graham says, “make sure of your relationship to God.” Graham stresses the importance of being prepared to meet God. We prepare for other things in life such as marriage, a career, our education, but we often neglect to take time to prepare our hearts and souls to meet God.
“This is a time for repentance and faith. It is a time for soul-searching, to see if our anchor holds,” Graham says.
Secondly, Graham exhorts, “learn now to walk with God in your daily life.” We see from God’s Word that people like Abraham, Moses, and David walked with God, and God was with them, and yet He didn’t necessarily deliver them immediately out of all trouble. He did, however, promise to be with them through trouble.
Thirdly, says Graham, we should “fortify ourselves with the Word of God.” Reading, studying, and memorizing Scripture is of utmost importance as we need to have the truth cemented in our hearts and minds now more than ever. The Words of Scripture bring truth, encouragement, and hope which we will need to rely on when facing trials.
Fourthly, Graham says, “fortify yourself with prayer.” Living in the Spirit is powerful and we should strive to “rediscover the power of prayer” in our lives. We must remember that prayer is a driving force, a powerful tool God has given us to be used daily.
Lastly, Graham tells believers, “meditate on Christ.” If we are to stand with Christ in the day of persecution, the person of Christ and our relationship with Him must be “vitally real to us.” We must pray like David did in Psalm 19:14: “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my strength and my Redeemer.”
“God needs men and women who will ‘stand in the evil day.’ Will you be one of them?” Graham asks.