Friday, September 23, 2005

Our Fate With Hate

You walk into school with your Christian shirt on and what do you get? A group of people who are trying their best to humiliate you in front of everyone because of who you serve: God. This tragic event, I'm sure, has happened to you. We all have had times where we've become the center of humiliation and even hate because of our love for Christ. Why is this the case though?

First of all, it is important that we understand that the world hates us because we don't belong to it; we are no longer part of this world! In John 15:18-27, Jesus tells us to expect hate from this world because of our love for Him:

When the world hates you, remember it hated me before it hated you. The world would love you if you belonged to it, but you don't. I chose you to come out of the world, and so it hates you. Do you remember what I told you? `A servant is not greater than the master.' Since they persecuted me, naturally they will persecute you. And if they had listened to me, they would listen to you! The people of the world will hate you because you belong to me, for they don't know God who sent me. They would not be guilty if I had not come and spoken to them. But now they have no excuse for their sin. Anyone who hates me hates my Father, too. If I hadn't done such miraculous signs among them that no one else could do, they would not be counted guilty. But as it is, they saw all that I did and yet hated both of us--me and my Father. This has fulfilled what the Scriptures said: `They hated me without cause.' But I will send you the Counselor--the Spirit of truth. He will come to you from the Father and will tell you all about me. And you must also tell others about me because you have been with me from the beginning.
As you can see, the reason why we are hated in this world is because the world hates God! We must remember that Christ chose us to tell others about Him, no matter the cost! Those who hear the good news (the Gospel) have no excuse for their sins, for they have the facts yet don't believe them!

Sometimes we think that the hatred towards us is because of something we have done, but the opposite is true! They hate Christ and us without cause because of the evilness in their hearts! Take comfort in Christ's reason for this warning in John 16:1, it is meant to bring us strength! Find strength as well in the command given to Ezekiel by God in Ezekiel 2:6-7:
Son of man, do not fear them. Don't be afraid even though their threats are sharp as thorns and barbed like briers, and they sting like scorpions. Do not be dismayed by their dark scowls. For remember, they are rebels! You must give them my messages whether they listen or not. But they won't listen, for they are completely rebellious!
How should we react to these situations though? Should we lash out at those who hate us? No! That would do more damage! People of this world constantly want us to fail so that the image of Christ will become non-existent; in order to maintain the image of Christ and the morals we are to uphold, we must express unconditional love and turn the other cheek (Matthew 5:38-41)! In fact, in Acts 5:41 we see that Peter and John actually rejoiced because "God had counted them worthy to suffer dishonor for the name of Jesus!"

Do you struggle to find strength in tough times? If so, pray to God asking Him to help you as you represent Him. When you find yourself in these situations, where your love for Christ is causing you pain, be glad! For if you are being ridiculed because of your loyalty to Christ, then you know that others can see your love for God! Christ wasn't the only one who suffered pain for our gain; there will also be times where we will suffer pain in order to advance the Gospel! Have faith, for even when you don't see the blessings, trials of all kinds strengthen our perseverance and eventually we will recieve our reward.

3 comments:

Erin C. said...

:)

Kristen S said...

Hey!This is such a wonderfull message. There are so many people who go through this day to day.Just fighting the good fight to keep God's message alive and to spread his word.I know a couple of people from back where I used to live who get ridiculed for this it's sad,but it's not such a bad thing in a way because we are living in Christ and setting an example.

Mary Beth said...

Thanks for writing about that for me. It's definitely something I deal with every day. Keep up the awesome work! I'm praying for u!