…..partakers of Christ’s suffering.
1 Peter 4:15
Being a believer in the Lord Jesus is not a popular calling. The true Christian soon discovers his lot is no easy option, for Christ was crucified by the world, and the world loves the Lord of Life no more today than it did 2000 years ago. His pure standards are different and shunned by the masses. His Godly objectives are counter to the self-seeking nature, and despised – despised and rejected of men, and so He became acquainted with grief. While men of the world serve themselves and please their selfish selves. Christ lived only to please God; to do the will of the Father Who sent Him; to heal the brokenhearted and to redeem all who would believe on His Name.
We too are called at such a time as this, to accept this self-same challenge. We too are called to such a place as this, to be despised of the world and rejected. We too are called to come out from among them and be separate. We too are called to obey His commandment, to love deeply, and suffer long. Just as Christ obeyed the will of the Father and loved deeply and suffered long. This is the challenge for all who would live godly. This is the task of all who would follow in the footsteps of the Messiah… For all who live godly will suffer persecution. 2 Timothy 3:12 and Jesus prayed: the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. John 17:14
Am I a true follower of the Lamb of God – the Son of Man? Are you? Examine yourself, beloved, to see if you be in the faith. Am I to accept as the norm a life that is set apart, holy and different. Different from neighbour; work colleague; former associates – even family? Am I to reject all former delights of sight and sound and touch and taste – and fully circumcise ear and eye, heart and lips – to be acceptable unto the Lord? Am I to embrace the shame and reproach that accompanies this separation, and to be labelled as dull and old-fashioned – unsociable and a fool? Am I to be so true to my calling, with unsullied witness and purity of heart, that I discover myself to be a marked man, a marked woman – a Christian?
Be comforted, believer. We do but share the rejection and reproach of Christ. He walked this path before, He trod its weary steps that you now tread. If you are dabbed old-fashioned – so too the sun and moon and stars that shine. If you are cussed as unsociable – it is only that you are living in a fallen world, which lieth in the evil one. If you are thus despised and ostracised beloved – rejoice, and again I say rejoice!!
The world may reject and disown us... that through us He may be glorified. Remember, the same Spirit of grace that rested on Christ rests upon you and is in you - the Spirit of the LORD, the Spirit of wisdom; the Spirit of understanding; the Spirit of counsel; the Spirit of might; the Spirit of knowledge – the Spirit of the fear of the LORD.
Let us count it a privilege and not a shame to stand alone. To be associated with the Lord of Glory, Who for us endured the cross - alone. But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. 1 Peter 4:15
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