Nobody likes to be persecuted. Nobody likes to be disliked. In an ideal world, everyone would like you. But this isn’t an ideal world. It’s a world that has been corrupted by sin. And because of that, people’s minds have been corrupted by sin to the point that they can’t distinguish good from evil. And even when they can, they often prefer evil.
John put it this way,
Light has come into the world (through Jesus), but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. (John 3:19)
Because of this, Jesus warned his disciples,
If they persecuted me (and they did), they will persecute you also. (John 15:20)
Think about this. Jesus was perfect. He never did anything wrong. He was love incarnate. And yet people hated him and put him on a cross.
If Jesus was perfect and he was treated this way, what makes us think we’ll be treated any differently?
But Jesus tells us that if we are persecuted for doing what is right, if we are persecuted for following him, we are blessed.
That seems a strange thing to say. Being persecuted is a blessing? I don’t want to be persecuted.
But the blessing is not in the persecution itself. It’s in knowing that we are following in our Master’s footsteps. That we are being like him even to the point of being persecuted as he was. And it’s in knowing that the persecution is not in vain. That God will ultimately reward us for our faithfulness under fire.
So let us not get discouraged when persecution comes our way. When we are rejected by our family or friends or others around us for Jesus’ sake.
As the old saying goes, you can’t please all the people all the time. Jesus couldn’t. Neither can you. So let us focus on pleasing just one person: God. And in doing so, we will find true blessing.