When Martin Luther King Jr. was imprisoned in Birmingham for non-violent protests, he wrote the famous “Letter From Birmingham Jail” in reply to southern white religious leaders expressing their concerns over the Civil Rights Movement. He writes, “I have no fear about the outcome of our struggle in Birmingham, even if our motives are presently misunderstood. We will reach the goal of freedom in Birmingham and all over the nation, because the goal of America is freedom. Abused and scorned though we may be, our destiny is tied up with the destiny of America. Before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth, we were here. Before the pen of Jefferson scratched across the pages of history the majestic word of the Declaration of Independence, we were here …If the inexpressible cruelties of slavery could not stop us, the opposition we now face will surely fail. We will win our freedom because the sacred heritage of our nation and the eternal will of God are embodied in our echoing demands …”

King and others with him were so dedicated to equal rights for African Americans that they endured unspeakable things. Many were fueled by their Christian convictions as well. May we be so dedicated to the work of Christ that we are willing to endure suffering and persecution for his name.