Believers obey the laws of God’s kingdom. This is why they get in trouble in countries whose legislature is contrary to God’s laws. In World War II the Ten Boom family got in conflict with the law when they started hiding Jews from the Nazis. As a result the family got arrested and some of them died – a brave example of civil disobedience because the laws of the German Reich were in direct conflict with God’s laws.
Fast forward to today, we may not have experienced the horrors of World War II; nevertheless the world we live in does not run on God’s law, and so believers will naturally run into all kinds of issues. Some believers pay with their lives. Most recent examples on US soil are civil rights martyrs. The Southern Poverty Law Center researched the deaths in connection with the Civil Rights Movement – between 1954 and 1968 and counted 40 people from age 11 to 66. Eight were white, and 32 were black. They came from all walks of life – students, farmers, ministers, truck drivers, a homemaker and a Nobel laureate. They died to end American Apartheid.
The world runs on self-promotion and beating the competition while God’s kingdom runs on loving God and our neighbor. Living the kingdom of God in a world that operates completely differently requires guts and endurance. It means that God’s children constantly swim upstream, against the main stream. Without the Holy Spirit this would be a hard thing to do, if not impossible. With Isaiah we pray (Isaiah 33:22):
“The Lord is our king; it is he who will save us.”
Following the Lord Jesus we can rest assured that He will see us through our battles until we arrive home safely.