Mt 5:11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.
1Pe 3:14 But and if ye suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are ye:
1Pe 4:14 If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you:
Jas 1:2 My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
Many Christians get depressed and discouraged when trouble comes their way. Sometimes it looks like they don't even believe in God because they get so low. Things of this world constantly baffle and buffet us. The devil is out there as a roaring lion. Our work and experiences are cut out for us.
So what should your response be when people are gossiping about you or ranting at you face to face? What kind of attitude should you develop when you lose your job because of your Biblical convictions? Should you feel low and dejected when carnal friends shun and avoid you? Do you feel abandoned by God when weird temptations come at you from all directions?
Why should we react adversely, when people treat us like they did Jesus Christ. I firmly believe, if Jesus appeared upon this earth today as he did at the Jordan that day, that within three years he would be done away with as he was done away with then. He warned us that since they hated Him they would hate us also! That depends on whether or not we are saying the same things He said. As a Pastor, I experience a roller coaster life in the treatment I receive. Not only from the community, but from within my own congregation. Most people are nice to me and quite a few go out of their way to exhibit their love. Many act as if they really believe what Jesus said in Matt. 25:35-40. But on the other hand, there are a few who avoid me like the plague. They have no respect for me or the office of Pastor, they are contentious and rebellious to the preaching of God's Word. They flee when none pursue.
The above verses spoke of blessedness and happiness connected with the adverse treatments of this world. To me it is not difficult to understand and agree with those verses. My primary drive is to be in God's perfect will. To do exactly what he wants and to say exactly what he wants. I fail miserably much of the time, but then there are the moments when I know He is using me. Some of those moments may not be pleasant to me personally and physically, but I have an inner peace that God is doing what He wants done.
What greater joy can a Christian experience than to face a crowd of Pharisees or an angry mob in the name of Jesus.
He faced rejection, abandonment and betrayal simply because of what he said. What greater honor could we have by facing those same things for His name. This world is not my home, I am just passing through.
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