It Really Isn’t Easy
If we are persecuted by other believers who question our Christian commitment or reject our work, we are surprised. When the world attacks us because of our relationship with and to Jesus, we can become discouraged. When this kind of trouble comes, we struggle to know what to do and say. We question whether or not we are truly victims, or merely a part of a big misunderstanding. It isn’t easy.
But then, Jesus never said it would be easy. In fact, He said it would be hard. As Jesus was preparing for His betrayal and arrest He warned His disciples: “All this I have told you so that you will not go astray. They will put you out of the synagogue; in fact, a time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering a service to God” (John 16:1-2). Later on, Saul, who was to become Paul, persecuted Christians with zeal. Several years after Paul decided to follow Jesus he wrote these ironic words to his protégé Timothy: “In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:12).
It isn’t easy being judged by your own brothers and sisters in Christ. It isn’t easy being rejected because your message is unpopular. It isn’t easy for millions of Christians throughout the world whose lives hang in the balance because their faith puts them on the wrong side of a political struggle. And it isn’t easy suffering one of more of these trials while Satan uses them to gain a foothold in our hearts. Maintaining our faith isn’t easy, and neither is managing our circumstances. Jesus was right.