Dear Friends of "Dial Daily Bread,"
Is it ever possible to follow Jesus Christ faithfully and not meet with opposition and even persecution? The Wise Man said that "when a man's ways please the Lord, He makes even his enemies to be at peace with him" (Prov. 16:7); that sounds like if you suffer opposition and persecution your ways don't "please the Lord." But Paul said that "all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution" (2 Tim. 3:12). And Jesus said that He sends us all out as "sheep in the midst of wolves, ... and you will be hated by all for My name's sake" (Matt. 10:16, 22).
That can be a lonesome life, especially if you are enduring by yourself. Therefore Jesus hastens to assure you that in your lonely pain you have His companionship: "A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. ... Not one [sparrow] falls to the ground apart from your Father's will. ... He who receives you receives Me, and he who receives Me receives Him who sent Me" (Matt. 10:24-40).
As you kneel in prayer asking for strength to endure, you will have the assurance that the Lord Jesus is enduring with you. The Holy Spirit will prod you to "endure all things" and to be "faithful until death" (1 Cor. 13:7; Rev. 2:10).
Beg the Lord to save you from inviting censure on yourself by ill-tempered ways, by what gives reasonable people the idea that you are extreme or fanatical. A true follower of Jesus Christ will always "love [his] enemies, bless those who curse [him], do good to those who hate [him], and pray for those who spitefully use ... and persecute [him]" (Matt. 5:44).
Never think that you are alone; Christ is with you through the Holy Spirit. And in every struggle when truth contends with error, there are people watching who are honest in heart. Good will come.
--Robert J. Wieland
From the "Dial Daily Bread" Archive: November 3, 2005.
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