“Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them. Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep. Live in harmony with each other. Don’t be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. And don’t think you know it all!”
Romans 12:14-16 NLT
Jesus said in Matthew 5:10-12 “God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs. “God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way.” NLT.
Paul, by the Holy Spirit, instructs Timothy “Yes, and everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.” 2 Timothy 3:12 NLT.
We, as devout followers of Jesus, are going to be persecuted. Oil and water don't mix. We don't "fit in". We are different. We often don't feel like we belong to the society we are living in. However, we need to remember that this is why we are here. We are the salt and light. We are to represent Jesus to the world. Sure, we are going to be misunderstood, maligned, and even outright attacked for our faith and practice. Remember, it isn't us that the unregenerate world hates. It is our Righteous Lord Jesus! Keep focused. Ask God to help you love even the most antagonistic person you know. Pray for them. Ask God to bless them. I know, this is utterly radical, but it is righteous. It imitates and represents the Lord Jesus!
Also, let's take the time to feel the hurts of others. Galatians 6:2 says “Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ.” NLT. It is our responsibility, as believers, to identify with, and assist, our brothers and sisters of faith. We are even called to help the unbeliever. Galatians 6:10 tells us “Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith.” NLT. Jesus demonstrated this. Romans 5:8 states “But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” NLT.
Lastly, simply be a representation of Jesus without partiality. Showing favoritism and being prejudice do not line up with the love of God. If we truly love Jesus, we will love every human being, even if their lifestyle is ungodly. We must present Jesus to the world. The only One who knows everything and "has it all together" is Jesus!!!
Rev. Curtis Norris