If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.
— John 15:19
We should not think it is strange to be persecuted. We can expect it when we live for Jesus.
“Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution” (2 Timothy 3:12.)
We can rejoice in any persecution we receive when we live for Jesus (Colossians 1:24). The Lord will be with us. When we stand before Him one day, He will reward us.
Persecution is an indication that those persecuting you are under conviction. When they realize they are not living what your words or actions are advocating, they become defensive. They believe that you are the source of their conviction. If you understand this, their anger becomes much easier to handle. They are not just mad at you. They are under conviction. When the Gospel is shared in the power of the Holy Spirit, there will be either revival or rebellion, but not indifference.
When we are persecuted, Satan will try to convince us that the strife is all our fault. He will try to convince us that we are wasting our time, that the rejection is too much, and that we will lose those we love. If the enemy succeeds and we give up, the pressure is off those who desperately need the love of Jesus. Jesus suffered continual rejection and persecution. Yet, we know that the problem was not with Him. The problem was with those who rejected Him. Jesus said to forgive them. They didn’t know what they were doing.
Jesus makes it clear that persecution is an inevitable part of living a godly life. If our Savior, who had no sin, was rejected, then certainly we will be rejected, too. We don’t need to over-analyze any rejection. Don’t feel guilty or condemned when persecution comes. The Word of God strips people of the masks that they have hidden behind. It exposes sin in the heart that only the grace of Jesus cleanses. The Word will either stir faith in hearts to believe in the saving grace of Jesus, or it will stir anger because you had the boldness to share the truth of God’s love.
How will they know Jesus if they haven’t heard? You have the truth of His Word to share, and you have His life that is your testimony to His faithfulness. You can expect persecution for His sake, but it will not crush you. You have the grace of Jesus to love them. Rejection will not stop you. Persecution will not stop you. Jesus is the answer.
Jesus loved us so much that He gave Himself so we should not perish but have eternal life. Jesus did not come to condemn us, but to save us with the undeserved gift of His life (John 3:16-17).
Your life is a message of His love! Don’t let persecution discourage you! Live and share the love of His grace!