Acts 7:59-60 And they stoned Stephen as he was calling on God and saying, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” Then he knelt down and cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not charge them with this sin.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.
I often have read this account of the death of Stephen.
I remember well the words “he fell asleep” as they stoned him.
There are other historical accounts of martyred believers dying in much the same way.
This convinces me God’s grace was on Stephen, perhaps to the point he felt no pain.
He did not writhe on the ground and wail in pain – he fell asleep.
Not only that, he prayed for forgiveness for his executioners.
There are Christians all over the world who are killed because of their faith in Christ.
I pray for their lives and the salvation of the persecutors.
But should it come to it, I pray they fall asleep as Stephen.
Pray for the persecuted church.
Yes, we must keep our focus on Jesus, no matter what our circumstances are. Then whatever we face holds no fear for us.