It’s not our first time that we hear stories about how our brothers and sisters in Christ are lavishly blessed by The One Who Sits in Heaven and become the centre of attraction of lies, public scorn and scrutiny. These blessed people of grace become strong magnetic forces that attract prosperity, health and success; but at the same time, they also attract the jealousy, the misunderstanding and the envy of others.
“You will be hated by everyone because of me..”(Matthew 10:22)
Persecution is not only a curse that The Lord did not redeem us from; it is also a curse that is promised to all partakers of the free gifts of Jesus Christ.
Persecution happens to outsiders. Guess what? We are outsiders! As what the Bible says: We are in this world but we are not part of this world (John 17:14). Through Christ, the children of The Most High are highly blessed people which are often misunderstood by the world. We operate apart from the rules of this earth; we bow to no one but The Son of God and we end up being blessed more than the rest. And this, my brothers and sisters is the big catch: When people of the world cannot provide a worldly explanation to your God given blessings, THEY WILL HATE YOU FOR IT. They will spread lies about you, they will talk against you, and they will do almost anything to see you fail. They do this as if you stole their blessings from them. Well, is it our fault that our Jesus loves us so much that He wants us blessed and extremely happy in this life?
Anyway, The Lord has foreseen this and that’s why He explicitly told His disciples: “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.” (John 15:18)
If you’re experiencing this right now, remember it’s not the first time it’s happening:
- Abel was favored by The Father through grace and Cain hated him (to death) for it.
- David was favored by The Father through grace and Saul hated him (to death) for it.
- Joseph was favored by the father through grace and his brothers hated him (to death) for it.
- The prodigal son was favored by the father through grace and his elder brother hated him for it.
- Jesus Christ was favored by The Father and the Pharisees hated him (to death) for it.
Persecution is a guarantee because people who partake of God’s grace will be extremely and supernaturally blessed that people will see you as someone who has discovered a short cut in a race. What the non-believing race contestants don’t know is that the road you took is actually a legal and valid way to the finish line (actually it is The only Way to the finish line). The proud will complain: how is it that they have served more, studied more and sacrificed more in the name of the Lord (and their efforts) and yet it’s you who’s getting the blessings? The proud are the ones who have trained hard out of their own efforts before a race only to find out that their training was tantamount to nothing but a waste of time while the prize are given to those who finished the race by taking The Short Cut.
I submit to you, there’s no way you can touch the love of Jesus Christ and not be blessed. At the same time, there’s no way you can be blessed by God and not be persecuted by the world. Given this, I wish to end this reflection by proclaiming a truth to those who are persecuted and a message of hope to those who are persecuting those under grace.
To those in Christ who are feeling the persecutions now:
Rejoice! For through you the word of Christ is fulfilled! Blessed are you for you have chosen the NARROW GATE (Matthew 7:13) instead of choosing the easy way out and pleasing the people of the world. God bless you more and more abundantly as you grow in the knowledge of Our Saviour, Jesus Christ.
To those who persecute us:
Brothers and sisters, there is no secret to heaven’s blessings. It is all contained in the person of Jesus Christ and not our self-efforts. Out of His love, He died for me and He died for you; and so what He has given me, He will give to you too. Like the winners of the race, trust not on our own flesh, but trust in His undying and unfailing love for us. Read more about Jesus Christ and discover His real love for you.
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. –Matthew 6:33
In the name of Jesus Christ, God bless you all.
* Image taken from Google Images