When you experience mockery, exclusion, insults and other painful things because you are being “stupid, weak”, etc. for your obedience to the Word that is contrary to current popular world sentiments, be encouraged. It may be people very important to us who may reject us but we have this unrivaled comfort:
If God is for us, who can be against us?
Matthew 5:11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12a Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven.
John 15:20 Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’[a] If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. 21 They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me.
The things that come from the Spirit of God are discerned only through the Spirit, therefore it will be considered foolishness, not appreciated, unless the person has the Spirit of God. (1 Cor 2:14)
When people insult you for trying to follow God while reminding you of your past failures and unworthiness, be encouraged.
That’s exactly why God’s Word of truth is so important, to spare us from the lies that will keep us away from His best will for us. God knows that you (and I) are (a) sinner(s). We would be liars and would be making Him out to be a liar if we denied this (1John 1:7-10). It is Satan, The Accuser, who keeps accusing us day and night (Rev 12:10) of those confessed sins that God has already removed from us as far as the East is from the West (Psalm 103:12) because Satan wants to deprive us of the abundant life, new life, washed clean life that Jesus came to give us. But God roots for us and gives us everything we need to get out of the old life. In His love letter, the Bible, He equips and empowers us and gives us every spiritual blessing in Christ. He who began a good work in us will be faithful to complete it (Phil 1:6).
Sometimes, hearing an insult is discouraging. But others even go through torture. The apostle Paul, for one went through imprisonments and riots; hard work (2cor 6:5), severe flogging, exposure to death again and again, beating with rods, pelting with stones, shipwreck, spending a night and a day in the open sea, danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, danger from fellow Jews, Gentiles; in the city, in the country, at sea; from false believers, labor and toil, no sleep; thirst, being without food; cold and nakedness (2Cor 11:23-27). Missionaries around the world are persecuted even to this day.
Peter has this encouragement:
1Pet 4 MSG Glory Just Around the Corner
12-13 Friends, when life gets really difficult, don’t jump to the conclusion that God isn’t on the job. Instead, be glad that you are in the very thick of what Christ experienced. This is a spiritual refining process, with glory just around the corner.
14-16 If you’re abused because of Christ, count yourself fortunate. It’s the Spirit of God and his glory in you that brought you to the notice of others. If they’re on you because you broke the law or disturbed the peace, that’s a different matter. But if it’s because you’re a Christian, don’t give it a second thought. Be proud of the distinguished status reflected in that name!
17-19 It’s judgment time for God’s own family. We’re first in line. If it starts with us, think what it’s going to be like for those who refuse God’s Message!
If good people barely make it, What’s in store for the bad?
So if you find life difficult because you’re doing what God said, take it in stride. Trust him. He knows what he’s doing, and he’ll keep on doing it.
Peter tells us, “Be glad, count yourself fortunate!”
Judgment begins with God’s own people. We experience the worst on this side of heaven but the best is yet to come (1Cor 2:9). It is the opposite for those who reject God: experiencing the best on this side of heaven but when this temporal life passes, the worst is yet to come… for eternity.
Instead of taking offense, Jesus tells us
Matt 5:44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you
They are not the enemy. All of mankind only has one enemy: Satan.
May you and I have His Spirit to know His will, love the people He died for and came to save: our persecutors. Let’s keep on keeping on! God Himself is rooting for you and me!
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