Living out our Christian faith in a time when there are people who are opening opposed to the faith is not easy. There are certainly people in positions of power and influence who reject the morality of our faith or Jesus' claim that He is the only way, truth and life. Jesus tells us to be happy when people hate or exclude us because of our faith.
Jesus Twelve Disciples heard Jesus speak these words. Judas betrayed Jesus. Ten of the eleven died as martyrs (witnesses) for their faith. John died in exile because of his faith. How could they do that? They saw what happened to Jesus. They saw Him after His resurrection. They received the gift of the Holy Spirit. God helped them face persecution for their faith. Never forget that God used these men and other early Christians to turn the world back to Him by believing in Jesus.
We are living in a time when Christians are being marginalized, mocked for our faith, condemned for our moral stands. We can try to hide our faith and go along to get along. But that doesn't work. Or we can stand up and be counted for Jesus, trusting in His promise to be with us, to help us through the tough times and to make our faith stronger. We are not the first to be challenged for our faith. We are the latest to receive the promise that nothing can separate us from God's love.