“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.”
– Matthew 5:11
As Christians, we sometimes get the idea that once we know Jesus, life will be easy. Since certain teaching emphasizes earthly prosperity over spiritual power, many have come to believe that we’re called to an existence of sheer wealth and popularity. However, the truth is that embracing the journey of discipleship isn’t a guarantee of a trouble-free path. You see, we are set apart to be different, and at times, this can feel lonely. While the world is going one way, we’re asked to go another, and swimming upstream against the strongholds of culture can be exhausting. Nevertheless, it’s a battle worth fighting, for in the end, we will be rewarded for our faithful endurance. Though Jesus was not always popular, He was triumphant, and His willingness to give up His life made redemption possible for all of us. He didn’t fit in, but His love for humanity compelled Him to blaze a trail down a narrow path which we’re invited to follow. When we are rejected, mocked, or persecuted for His sake, we can rejoice, because we know that His presence within us is having an eternal impact.
My friend, you were made to stand out, not blend in. Though the brilliance of God’s love in you causes some to lash out or pull back, your fervent faith is piercing the black night of spiritual blindness, and that’s both beautiful and holy. If you’re walking in Jesus’ footsteps, don’t be discouraged when people react to you unkindly, for their response is evidence that the Holy Spirit is accomplishing exactly what He wants to through your life. As you allow Him to order your steps, the divine discomfort you introduce to others might just lead them to salvation!
Jesus, help me not to be undone by persecution or rejection that comes because I bear your Name.
Have you ever been persecuted for the sake of righteousness? How did God meet you there?
If you’re unable to attend your local church or need some additional weekly inspiration, be sure to tune into Hour of Power every Saturday night at 6:30 p.m. PT on TBN or watch online at hourofpower.org/episode.