Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
All through Bible history and the history of Christianity, those who seek to follow Jesus have been opposed, ridiculed, and persecuted. Always, the believer who would be faithful must "take up his cross" in order to follow the true Christ (Luke 9:23).
Elijah was opposed by the government of the Israelite nation; the opposition of the king and queen was so terrible that he was denounced as "public enemy No. 1." The same persecution was seen in King Saul's bitter hatred of David, the youth whom the Lord had "anointed" to replace him as future king. Then Jeremiah had to spend his entire lifetime enduring the persecution inflicted on him by the successive kings and leaders of Judah following the death of good king Josiah.
At first the official leadership of the nation of Israel was favorable to the message of John the Baptist, but later what they considered objective evidence made them conclude they were forced to criticize, then oppose, then reject, and finally crucify, the Man whom God had sent as their Messiah. It was the popular thing to do--shout, "Crucify Him!" (John 19:15).
Must we still "take up [our] cross" in order to be faithful to Him? Yes, but does that mean that life must be dreary, enduring sadness and loneliness? No, the promise of Jesus has particular reference to life today. He said: "I am with you always, even to the end of the age" (Matt. 28:20).
As He walked with the three Hebrews in the fiery furnace (Dan. 3:25), so He has pledged Himself to suffer and endure with His faithful disciples today. In every confrontation with Satanic falsehood, Jesus wins the victory.
--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: March 23, 2005.
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