When you are a follower of Christ, there are a lot of blessings that come as a result of that but also a lot of challenges. We have to learn how to take the bitter with the sweet. Prosperity preaching has messed us up in the sense that we think only fame and wealth come with being a Christian. When we define prosperity as “anything beyond daily bread,” then yes- many of us are blessed. With those blessings come persecutions. Jesus reminded Peter that those who left everything to follow him would inherit houses, land, family and along with it persecutions.
- They will hate you because you follow Jesus. Who are they? Two groups. The religious and the nonreligious. As a believer hate comes from all sides. You have people from other churches hating you because you attend a different church or different denomination. Then you have people that hate the church and don’t believe in God. Jesus told his disciples that they would be hated so that it wouldn’t surprise them when they encountered it. Hate is a defense for people who don’t want to validate God’s activity in your life.
- There hate won’t affect your wellbeing. Jesus said, “Not a hair on your head will perish.” Look at what the message version says, Luke 21:16 “You’ll even be turned in by parents, brothers, relatives, and friends. Some of you will be killed. There’s no telling who will hate you because of me. Even so, every detail of your body and soul—even the hairs of your head —is in my care; nothing of you will be lost.
- Stand firm and you will be saved. We have to have confidence in God that through every trial and tribulation God will see us through. We have to ground our feet firmly and not be shaky, even though shaky people surround us. Get a firm grip on what you believe. Have a firm grasp on what God has revealed and you will make it through betrayal, hate, and hurt!
I thank you that you are keeping me through all these tests and trials. I’ve come up against a lot of hate. I’ve been hurt by many people I loved and I thought loved me but I’m still standing! I pray that you would strengthen my stance and no matter who comes against me or walks away from me I know that you will see me through. I’m still standing on the promises of Jesus!