“They will deliver you up to tribulation and put you to death, and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake.” (Matthew 24:9)
In the past two days, we saw that God allowed evil things to happen to His people because they had sinned. Today we read about the contrary: people go through extremely difficult situations because they try to live pure and godly lives! Their suffering is not caused by God, but by “the world” — people who hate Jesus Christ and also hate His followers. They can’t stand it if others believe in Him!
Jesus warned His disciples that this would happen to them. He also told them that He has overcome this world (John 16:33) and that He will be with His children always (Matthew 28:20).
The apostle Paul endured a lot of hardships for Jesus’ sake. He says all this could not separate him from Jesus Christ’s love. The apostle Peter also suffered for the Gospel. He says that God will “restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish” those who are suffering (1 Peter 5:10). Both apostles stood firm in the faith, in Jesus’ power.
Jesus does not promise that He will prevent our suffering. But He does promise to be with us and to give us the strength to endure. Compared to the eternal weight of glory awaiting believers, their affliction here on earth is only “light” and “momentary”.
Are you hated for Jesus’ sake?