Have you ever made a commitment—or recommitment—to follow God and put him first in your life, only to find that life gets harder, not easier? Often our expectation is that God should bless us and make our lives easier when we give more, worship more, and serve more. While that does sometimes happen, it is not always the case. Sometimes a commitment to greater faith in Jesus leads to suffering and persecution (John 15:20). This was the case for Nokseng, the first Christian convert from a community in Meghalaya in India. According to P. P. Job, when Nokseng’s tribe found he was a follower of Jesus, the village chief threatened to harm him if he did not renounce his faith. Nokseng responded by declaring, “I have decided to follow Jesus.” Following the execution of his children, he continued, “Though no one joins me, still I will follow.” This led to the execution of his wife. Finally, before his own death, Nokseng sang, “The world behind me, the cross before me.” The unshakable faith of this new Christian in the face of persecution led to the chief’s conversion to Christianity and became the foundation of the hymn “I Have Decided to Follow Jesus”(“The Story Behind the Song ‘I Have Decided to Follow Jesus,’” Bibliatodo Reflection [blog], August 21, 2022, https://www.bibliatodo.com/En/christian-reflections/the-story-behind-the-song-i-have-decided-to-follow-jesus/).
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