Until we face real persecution, it is hard to imagine the discouragement and disillusionment one feels. Regardless it will be worth it if we stay faithful through whatever opposition or persecution we may have to face.
Jesus knew a day of rejoicing was coming for each of His disciples, so He asked them again to trust in His word. Jesus never spoke to His disciples about fame, popularity, or wealth. On the contrary, He told them that they would experience sorrow, weeping, losses, and suffering.
We might not experience these things every day, but they will come to everyone someday, assuming we remain faithful and obedient to His word. Opposition is inevitable: “Blessed are you when men hate you, and when they exclude you, and revile you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of Man’s sake” (Luke 6:22).
An environment or job situation in which men hate believers requires a strong motivation or value for truth. Jesus said, “The time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service” (Jn 16:2). This does not refer to a personality conflict or an action provoked by unethical or inept actions; it is a reaction to the unashamed disciple who openly exposes sin and injustice by sharing the gospel. It will not be easy for the believer.
The opportunity to suffer together with Jesus and the description of a promised reward of disproportionate size should be sufficient to motivate faithfulness, even through the agony of persecution: “I consider that our present sufferings are not worthy to be compared to the glory that shall be revealed in us” (Rom 8:18). The eventual benefits are so great that we are to “continuously rejoice” (see 1 Pet 4:13).
Confidence in God’s promise of a reward for faithfulness should make believers “jump for joy,” “for our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory” (2 Cor 4:17). Can you demonstrate your boldness and fidelity to Christ without becoming discouraged about what others think about you?
“May the life we will share forever and the rewards You have planned become my greatest delight and value in life. Lord, may I live with eternity in mind.”