“We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed, we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted but not forsaken, cast down but not destroyed” (II-Corinthians 4:8-9).
The many brave souls that takes it upon themselves to walk in the footsteps of Jesus
Christ have to be aware that it will not be an easy journey. The world is out to get you! The Apostle Paul writing to the church at Corinth tells the congregation you will not have to go looking for trouble, it will find you, but do not be distressed. There will be times and people who you will have serious difficulty understanding their actions and attitudes, but they are not your judge. Some will seek to hurt you for shallow reasons, but you are not alone. When the enemy cannot physically defeat you he will attack your character and spirit, but holiness is not easily destroyed.
“Let your conduct be without covetousness, be content with such things as you have (Hebrews 13:5). The world does not want you to pray for its deliverance or your own. You cannot give anyone the salvation you have found in Jesus Christ, but you can make them hunger for it. Prayer—the Christian’s most powerful tool—receives it true power when submitted with a profound willingness and desire to pray for others. Everything you do and own is affected by how you pray and how often you pray, the enemy knows this. Be content with what you have does not mean you are not pray for others to receive the same salvation you have, it means just the opposite.
The world makes it difficult for the rational person to want to serve it, however, Paul’s
idea of service is the same as Our Lord’s: “I am among you as He that serves, for Jesus’ sake.” The world has this crazy notion that a person who has chosen to follow Jesus is called to be a different kind of being from other persons. If you share this notion you are right, we are called to be different and the world hates you for it. According to the holy teachings of Jesus Christ, Christians are called to be the “doormat” of others, their spiritual example of Christ in us, but never their superior. “I know how to be abased,” says Paul, “and I have my eyes on the prize.”
“For He Himself has said; “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5-8). God, incarnate as Jesus Christ, the Son of Man, challenged an evil and spiteful world. He challenged it by living a life that can be summed up as: “I will spend myself to the last heartbeat for you, you may give me praise or give me the Cross, it will make no difference, I am here for you.” If we are like Christ, devoted to the cause of saving humanity, you shall soon be crushed and broken-hearted, for we shall often meet with more ingratitude from men than we would from a homeless dog. But if our motive is love to God, no gratitude can hinder us from serving our ungrateful fellow-man.
Paul’s realization of how Jesus Christ dealt with him, with kindness and mercy, was the
secret to his determination to serve a world that would come to hate him as he had
hated others who chose to follow Jesus. Many who had been the victims of his perjuries,
blasphemous and injurious actions hated him. Today’s Christians like Paul must come to understand that men cannot treat us with the spite and hatred with which some of us have treated Jesus Christ. The world was out to get him and did, also, it is out to get you and will, without an absolute and undeniable dependence on the faithfulness of God the Father.
“So we may boldly say: “The Lord is my helper, I will not fear. For what can man do to me? Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). When we finally realize that Jesus Christ has served us to the end of our mean-spirited ways, our unabashed selfishness, and sin without end, nothing that men and this world may do to get us can exhaust our determination to serve men for His sake. I thank God for blessing
you to be a blessing to someone else in Jesus’ name.
Grady Norman Greene, Minister of the Gospel of Jesus Our Christ
- Ignatius of Antioch about Jesus Christ and the love of this world. (lifeondoverbeach.wordpress.com)
- Eat My Body: -what…? No way! …really? (newevangelizationm.wordpress.com)