And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. Rom 8:28
It is a great honor to be called to serve in God’s kingdom — a privilege that many say they desire but then discard when the going gets tough. And serving him isn’t for the cowardly. Great courage is required because the Jesus we follow suffered a great deal. He was constantly opposed by religious and political leaders. He was opposed by those who were jealous of him, those who felt threatened by him and sometimes, even by those who loved him. But still he pressed on toward his Father’s purpose for his life.
Have you been called to serve in a way that causes resistance from others? Heck, I’d say that if you’re a Christian these days, it’s likely you’ve already experienced a fair share of hardship, mockery and possibly, even persecution. I know I have. I’ve been called names, like “Bible Thumper,” “fanatic,” “freak.” It used to upset me and now I just find it laughable.
I’ve lost friends and have endured gossip from acquaintances and relatives. At first it really hurt and angered me, but now I just consider it par for the course. I forgive them and move on.
What am I doing to cause this you ask? Not much. I don’t proselytize, call out people for their sin or damn them to hell – heck, I don’t really even talk about hell at all. I do state my faith when asked or if it comes about in conversation. I do praise God openly and pray aloud for others. I think it’s more about the things I avoid when they conflict with my values or his purpose for my life. Apparently that’s enough to make people uncomfortable.
Anyway, the point of this post is to tell you that when you decide to follow and be faithful to Jesus, suffering comes. He warned us that it would. However, God gave us his Holy Spirit to comfort and empower us.
If you’re in need of help, take comfort also in Paul’s words:
If God is for us, who can be against us? Rom 8:31
Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died — more than that, who was raised to life — is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Rom 8:33
Take delight in him today. Delight in the fact that he chose you, called you and will one day, glorify you. What a wonderful God we serve!