The World Hated Jesus First

Recently, I experienced what to me felt like persecution for my Christian beliefs on a social media site.  Now, some would say that I wasn’t being persecuted for my faith, but maybe because I just didn’t abide by their “rules.” I had posted my blog on several pages on that site and unknown individuals to me on that site blocked me from being on those pages for about a month. Even when I tried to explain that I was permitted by each page’s administrators to post my blog, the site continued to punish me.  I truly felt hated and persecuted, and it wasn’t a pleasant feeling.  I’m sure all of us have had times when we felt hated, or knew we were hated by someone. The Bible tells us that Jesus was hated first and that the world hates us because of Him.  Jesus reminds us, “If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first.” (John 15:18 NLT)  My consolation through all of this was that Jesus understood. He experienced persecution more severe than my little discomfort compared to what He went through. 

I must confess, this is the first time I’ve encountered such out-and-out disdain for my faith.  I’ve had discussions with those who disagree with me, but never to the point of dismissing me and my beliefs. This seemed targeted, an attempt to silence me or keep me from spreading the Good News of Jesus to others.  My husband told me that he thought this was an attack by the enemy.  My blog was beginning to influence people for Jesus, and the enemy didn’t like it, so this was his failed attempt at stopping my ministry.  I must say, it has had a small effect, however; I’ve noticed that the Devil hasn’t stopped it completely.  I have created a new page on that media site and, even though those who were reading my blog are not able to see it now, others are beginning to fill their place.  I truly believe that this was a God-inspired idea presented to me by some very good friends.

Persecution of Believers has been going on in this world since the time of Jesus.  We aren’t being put to death for our faith like some are.  At most, the persecution we are experiencing now is more like what I experienced.  I believe though the time will come, and it might be sooner than we think, when we will need to deal with the same type of persecution as those in other countries.

The feeling of being targeted and hated is not something anyone wants, but as Believers, we need to recognize that it may happen because we trust in Jesus.  If we are more concerned with our popularity than our stand on Biblical issues, then we have a real problem.  J. Vernon McGee, in his commentary on John, says, “Notice what will happen if you are a child of God. The world will hate you. I believe that a Christian’s popularity can be an indication of how he is representing Christ to the world. I do not believe a Christian can be popular in the world. No Christian has any right to be more popular than Jesus was. Beware of a compromising position in order to be popular. The world will not love a real child of God. The  world will love you if you are of the world. You don’t have to act oddly or be super-pious. The world will hate you if you are a child of God.”  The Bible says, “Indeed, all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.”(2 Timothy 3:12 NASB)

When we are faced with the hate of this world, we need to go directly to the One who experienced hatred and seek His help.  He understands what we are going through, and He will give us the strength to face the world and continue doing what He has called us to do.  When we live Godly lives before others in the face of persecution, not only is the Gospel being shown in our behavior but God is given the glory for it all.

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