Joyful response!

Verse for Today: Wednesday, February 15, 2012

1 Peter 4:14 – If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.

When the name of Jesus is expressed in our behaviors and attitudes, the enemy of Jesus will become restless. When Jesus is glorified, the enemy gets agitated. When we respond to situations as Jesus would have responded, the enemy becomes furious. In such circumstances, the enemy will use people, circumstances and situations to diffuse our stand for Jesus. One of the ways by which the enemy fights against us at such times is to use people to insult, mock and fight with us. We are ridiculed for our stand for Jesus. When we do not do what they ask us to do because of the Spirit of Jesus who lives in us, people get irritated and angry. Such responses of hatred will take several forms like ridicule, insult, mockery, gossip, misrepresentation, misinterpretation, false allegations, creating false evidences against us, denial of our rights and privileges, false propaganda and the like. Sometimes we loose our reputation, our jobs, business, property and are even made socially outcast. Sometimes the enemy uses people within our own fellowship circles to level sad, unfortunate and false allegations against us. Sometimes the enemy creates suspicions and withdraws support for us in our ministries and maligns our testimonies through other believers. But when the enemy does all of these, we are and ought to be a blessed or happy set of people because we are privileged to go though the experience of rejection which our Lord endured during His public ministry. But our response to suffering for the sake of our Lord is our special privilege. We can praise God in such situations as enabled by the Spirit of God who lives in us and encourage and comfort us in our ordeals. Suffering insult and rejection for the Lord is the least that we can experience as a response to all that our Lord endured for us.

Dear reader, are you going through a time of rejection, insults and maligning because you take a stand for your Lord? It could be your testimony in the work place, school, neighborhood, church or community that causes you to suffer. It could be the stand you take against the currents of this world that make the world hates and despises you. When your life and the principles you hold make it a great inconvenience for others, they would try to intimidate you in different ways. Rejection is painful and ignoring you is heart-breaking, especially by those whom you loved and served. Paul had these experiences of rejection and resentment from the household of faith. Joseph had such experiences from his brothers, employer and co-prisoners. Moses experienced bitter resentment from his brother and sister. Nehemiah had painful opposition from the enemies of God. Mordecai was plotted against by the high officials of the palace. Job’s friends tried to find fault with him when he was in his worst situations. David was chased by his own people to wipe him out of the world. Our Lord Jesus Christ was left behind by his beloved disciples when he was arrested and they didn’t show their allegiance when He was tried and crucified. But in all these painful experiences, God gave them all His joy and peace to praise Him and to continue to respond with His joy in their hearts. The same Lord with His Spirit dwells in our hearts to strengthen and empower us to keep going in spite of bitter opposition. When others turn their faces away from us, He makes His face shine upon us. When others refuse to talk to us, He will make His soft voice of comfort and encouragement heard in our ears and hearts. His Spirit will fill us with His joy so that we can be happy when we experience insults from others. Though we face insults today, He will openly recognize us in the presence of His angels. So let us look to the Lord to strengthen us to face our troubled situations and be hold in facing our resentful circumstances with confidence in our Lord and in the power of His Spirit.

Hebrews 13:13 – So, let us go out to Him outside the camp, bearing His reproach.

Thought for Today

The dark clouds of rejection and insults by man will be overshadowed by the brightness of the glory of the Lord and the thrill of the recognition He will give us at the bema.

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JOYFUL RESPONSE!!
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