Every Day Light
When society kicks back
"For it has been granted to you on behalf of Christ not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for him." (v. 29)
For reading & meditation:
We come now to Christ's eighth and final prescription for good spiritual and mental health: "Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven" (Matt. 5:10). The inevitable result of bringing our attitudes in line with Christ's attitudes is that our lives become a silent judgement upon others. And men and women do not like to be judged, so they kick back in persecution. "Society," said someone, "demands conformity: if you fall beneath its standards, it will punish you; if you rise above its standards, it will persecute you. It demands an average, grey conformity." The true Christian, however, does not conform - he stands out. "Woe to you," said Jesus, "when all men speak well of you" (Luke 6:26). If they do speak well of us, then it could be that we are too much like them. Let there be no mistake about this, the righteous will be persecuted - inevitably so. Once we adopt the principles which Christ presents, the men and women of the world are going to react with hostility and indignation. Dr E. Stanley Jones was close to the mark when he said that the first thing a person must get used to when he or she becomes a Christian is the sight of their own blood. Are you being persecuted for righteousness' sake at the moment? Is the world venting its hatred and hostility upon you because of your stand for the Lord Jesus Christ? Then take heart - the persecution is the final proof, if one is needed, that you are a true disciple of your Master, a child of God and a citizen of heaven.
My Father and my God, help me not to miss the deep underlying truth in this, the last of Your prescriptions for happiness. Strengthen me so that I am unafraid of seeing my own blood. In Jesus' Name I ask it. Amen.
Come to http://www.cwr.org.uk for more inspirational devotions by Selwyn Hughes.