Persecution comes with being a Christian. It’s just a fact. Jesus will later say, “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:10) Also Paul, who once persecuted Christ followers, will say, “For the sake of Christ, then I am content with weakness, insults, hardships, persecution, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:10) David knows this same persecution bc of his love for the Lord and he writes about it in Psalm 69. “I have become a stranger to my brothers, And an alien to my mother’s children; Because zeal for Your house has eaten me up, And the reproaches of those who reproach You have fallen on me…I looked for someone to take pity, but there was none; And for comforters, but I found none. They also gave me gall for my food, And for my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.”
Jesus will also experience persecution. He will be stripped. A crown of thorns will be shoved onto His head. He will be mocked, spat upon and beaten. Nails will be driven into his hands and feet. And while hanging on the cross “…they offered him wine to drink, mixed with gall, but when he tasted it, he would not drink it” (Matthew 27:34). Following Christ on this side of heaven is going to be difficult. Jesus explains this in John 15:18-20. “If the world hates you, know that it has hated me before it hated you…Remember the word that I said to you: A servant is not greater than its master. If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you…” Although the world will be hard, we can find our peace and rest in Christ. “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
Also, we have something to look forward to…an eternity in heaven with Jesus and fellow brothers and sisters in Christ! 🙌 David sings about this in his Psalm “Let Your salvation, O God, set me on high”. Later, Paul will also speak of us being set on high with the Lord. “But God…made us alive together with Christ…and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus.” (Ephesians 2:4-6) So we can endure the temporary troubles down here knowing what awaits us…an eternity with our Lord and Savior! Keep reading.
(Psalms 61-62, Psalms 64-67)