“If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as it loves its own. But I have chosen you out of the world, so you don’t belong to it. That is why the world hates you.” - John 15:18-19
As Christians, life will not be easy. Jesus warns us that people will not like us because we follow Him. There is a spiritual battle going on in the world between God and Satan that involves us (Ephesians 6:12). People will try to hurt us because we are God’s chosen people. The people who will hurt and hate us do not follow God but follow Satan. Satan influences them to do what he wants them to do. They also work together against God to hurt Him and His people in any way they can.
The good news is God is more powerful than Satan and his followers. Satan can only do what God allows him to do. God gave Satan the permission to take everything away from Job that he owned and loved to test his faith (Job 1:8-18). We can never understand why God allows things to happen, but we can trust Him. In Romans 8:28 Paul reminds us of God’s promise, “We know that in everything God works for the good of those who love Him. They are the people He called because that was His plan.”
God does not want us to fear people who can only hurt our earthly bodies but wants us to fear Him because God can destroy both our souls and our bodies in hell (Matthew 10:28). When we are treated badly, we are considered blessed because we are suffering for the name of Jesus (1 Peter 4:12-14). The suffering on earth is temporary but we are promised an eternal home in heaven with God.
Prayer of the day:
Dear heavenly Father,
You are Holy and powerful. There is a spiritual war going on, therefore, give us the strength to get through each battle we will face. Please help us to stay joyful in difficult times when people hurt us. Even if we must suffer for the name of Jesus, help us not to fear people but to fear You instead because You have the power to kill both our bodies and our souls. We cannot wait for the day when we can spend eternity in heaven with You. Thank you for Your mercy and grace. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen!