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Foundations For Our Future #25

Foundations for Our Future (25)

by: The Rev. Dr. Jon Shuler

Nothing prepares a new believer for the sudden discovery that someone is not pleased that they have decided to follow Jesus. At first it may come as mild displeasure, or social ostracism. Sometimes it is conflict inside your own household, or even in the community of the church. But serious persecution is another matter altogether.

Our Lord Jesus makes it very clear that to be actively opposed, to be made to suffer, because of a determination to live “for righteousness sake” (Matthew 5:10) is to be blessed. From the perspective of heaven suffering, for doing what is right in God’s sight, is a gateway into blessing. How can this be?

The answer, of course, is to be found in the example of the one who has called us to follow. The foundation of becoming a true disciple is when we begin the journey of being conformed to Christ. If there were those who persecuted and crucified our Lord, how could we imagine there would not also be those who would turn on his disciples? All over the world, in our day, godly men and women are suffering such persecution.

No one should ever seek persecution, of course, but if and when it does come we must remember and hold fast to what Christ Jesus has told us. “blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake.”

Today, thank God that Christians live in peace in this nation, and pray for those who are being persecuted.