I admit that this childish behavior from people who are complete strangers toward someone simply because they love the Lord baffles me; but Jesus said it would be this way. He knows the path we walk, because He has already been there. The same hatred they had toward him, is unleashed on those who chose to follow Him. It is not an easy road. I can understand those who may have a great battle within themselves to give in to the pressure of persecution, and lose their faith. As the days become more evil, it will worsen. But, these verses come to my mind when I face these temptations.
Lu 9:62 And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.
Joh 6:66 From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. Joh 6:67 Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?
Joh 6:68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.
Joh 6:69 And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.
I also take the time to go back in my mind to what my life was like before I turned my life over to God. People hated, laughed, mocked, gossiped, and ridiculed when I was living in sin; and cared nothing for me when I was facing this life alone, and the heartaches that go with it. I’ve never regretted a moment of walking with Jesus. He has been the anchor in my life; when everything and everyone else has walked away. And prayer?…..I have journals full of testimonies of miraculous answers over these many years. They are the mortar to my faith. I know Jesus lives, and that every promise he has given in His word, is true. Nothing in this life or the next can ever change my mind on this.
Whatever we may face, we have the promise that if we suffer with Him, we will also reign with Him. Because He lives, we will live also.
2ti 2:11 It is a faithful saying: For if we be dead with him, we shall also live with him:
2ti 2:12 If we suffer, we shall also reign with him: if we deny him, he also will deny us: 2ti 2:13 If we believe not, yet he abideth faithful: he cannot deny himself.
If you read this have faced the suffering of persecution, be encouraged. He lives, one day we will live with Him, one day, it will all be worth it. Let’s not be of those who turn back, but go on and rejoice; our reward awaits.
These are the resolutions I remind myself of as this new year begins. God's blessings to you in the coming year.