Blessed are you when men hate you,
And when they exclude you,
And revile you, and cast out your name as evil,
For the Son of Man’s sake.
This to me sounds like an oxymoron. How can someone be happy when people hate you and exclude you? No person on earth could achieve this task without the help of God and truly allowing the work of the Holy Spirit to be at work in that person’s life.
This hatred is a spiritual hatred. It’s a hatred against the believer for what they stand for and believe in and witness to. The hatred can be a deliberate act, or it can be passive. Today I was walking on a platform at a train station. A man looked at me and tried to trip me. I didn’t know that man, and he didn’t know me. The devil knows me, and he can influence anyone who isn’t walking in close relationship with God. Was it because I’m a Christian? I don’t know, it could be, I’ve had this happen to me a few times, people who I don’t even know have literally snarled at me like a cat. I believe they sense the Spirit of God in me and they react. Likewise, we see so many murders and hatred towards Christians because the devil uses people to act either verbally or physically towards them who take a stand for Jesus. There have been many martyrs for the gospel of Jesus. Two men stand out to me, Richard Wurmbrand and Brother Yun. These two have gone through horrific afflictions because of the Gospel of Jesus. Even today we see on the news Christians being beheaded because of their faith, when they won’t renounce Jesus’ name.
We have an instinct to have relationships with family, friends, work colleagues, and church friends. God also created us to have a relationship with Him, it’s built into our DNA. Nobody likes to be lonely and when we lose relationships it hurts. It also hurts when you’re ignored or isolated because of your faith, and this can happen at work, school, any social activities, and from strangers. Feeling excluded isn’t nice, but if it’s to take a stand, Jesus said, be happy about it, you are blessed because of it. To have the attitude of Jesus requires us to immerse ourselves in Him. For some, it may feel like hard work, for others it will come naturally. If you have that relationship with God it should come naturally, and when you feel excluded because of Jesus, it won’t matter because in God you have joy and peace, and you’re walking in the Spirit rather than the flesh.
Nobody likes to feel criticised, abused, angrily insulted, and considered being evil. Jesus said you are blessed because of it. Because of the stand you have taken for my sake, you are blessed. When someone insults you, yells at you becomes angry at you because of me. Remember, our reward is not here on earth, it’s eternal.
Where ever we are, we need to take a stand for the gospel, at church, home, school, when we go to the shops, drive the car and work. People may not like the stand you have taken. They may find it an insult because you won’t take part in something that’s against God’s word. Christians may find it an insult because they will think you are being “super religious”. It’s necessary.
Galatians 1:4, who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father.
Therefore, Christianity sets us free from this world, this evil age, and those who are Christians are to live contrary to everything and every nature different to this evil world. In John 18:36 Jesus said His kingdom is not of this world and in 1 John 4:5-6 speaks that we are of God. Then we need to do everything that pleases God, if we are to be a believer in Jesus Christ and be a Christian as the scriptures talk about rather than what man wants.
Jesus never faulted and yet he was spat on, ridiculed, his beard pulled out, punched and crucified. The church did this, i.e. the religious leaders and everyday folk.
If we are taking a stand for the sake of the gospel, expect ridicule, abusive language, exclusion. We need to act like Jesus and turn the other cheek. If you are sharing the gospel from your own flesh, rather being led by the Spirit, it will be harder to overcome the ridicule than if you were walking in the Spirit. There is a difference, because when you walk in the Spirit, nothing else matters except for who you are in Jesus and pleasing Him. When there is conflict it will be like water off a duck’s back. Not only that, there will be an outcome of something great, a seed sown, or eternal rewards.
It’s important as a Christian to have a total dependence on God in whatever you do. God is in total control over your life. It’s important to trust God and rest in Him. I have explained once before, it’s a total assurance of who you are in Christ. It’s like someone sitting in a hammock and it relaxes your full body weight in the hammock. Therefore, if something happens, there will not be a reaction. Stay true to God’s word and don’t compromise your faith in Jesus.