We will be hated.
We will be insulted.
People will lie about us.
We will be driven out of places.
We will suffer for Jesus.
Welcome to the gritty side of the gospel. The side we don’t talk about much.
You will be hated by everyone because of Me, but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved. – Matthew 10:22
Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.- 2 Timothy 3:12–13
If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated Me first. – John 15:18
There’s more, but I think those will suffice for this point to be made:
Persecution is a promise from God.
That promise is full of unspoken truths, and one of those is that we do not have the right to NOT be persecuted. Our country’s Constitution makes every attempt to ensure that we have the freedom to practice our faith openly and without fear. But the Constitution is not a God-breathed document. Only scripture can claim His breath, and scripture makes us a promise that we will suffer persecution on various levels.
The culture likes to tell us that faith is a private choice, to be kept between us and our God, and we shouldn’t push our beliefs on anyone. At the same time, culture also wants total affirmation and agreement of their life choices, complete with parades and twisty pronouns.
Truth: While our faith is based on an individual relationship with God, it was never intended to be private.
Private faith has no reason to be persecuted, nor any need to stand firm. A light hidden poses no threat to darkness.
Those who boldly preach the Word of God, even the gritty parts, who refuse to condone or comfort sin, especially among believers, and who will not go along to get along. All who proclaim that Jesus Christ is the one and only way to the forgiveness of our sins and the inheritance of eternal life in heaven. Any who will boldly speak the truth when they’ve been told to stay quiet, who will worship God with their whole lives no matter who is watching.
These are the ones who will inherit this promise of God.
Lord, make us ready. By the power of Your Spirit give us boldness to live our faith out loud, to live Your truth and no other, to speak truth no matter the cost. To rejoice at being found worthy of suffering for the Name of Jesus.
“They called the apostles in and had them flogged. Then they ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go.
The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name.” – Acts 5:40-41
And if we know our bible history at all, we know this: persecution builds the Church. Keeps us from stagnating. Forces us to make a decision instead of riding an imaginary fence. Scatters us, and the gospel we carry within us, into the harvest fields.
We all want the promises of God when the promises of God feel good to us. Let’s not run from the promise that is good for us.