Being reviled, being tortured for our faith. It isn’t really something that sounds nice and comfy, is it? Well…it isn’t. However, it is part of the Christian life.
1 Peter 2:4-5a says: As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him— you also, like living stones…
The one thing that popped out to me and some friends the other day as we dug deep into this passage is that Jesus was rejected. People didn’t like Him or what He teached – that’s why they tortured and killed Him. Then it goes on to say that WE, like Jesus, are living stones.
Therefore, we will be rejected by humans also, but chosen by God.
Wow!! I don’t know about you, but I don’t really like the idea of being rejected. It’s certainly not a very nice thought. But, like Jesus, we are living stones, and we will be rejected by men. There’s nothing really great about stones. People see them and don’t really care. And that’s kind of like how they treated Jesus. They didn’t see the goodness, the beauty of Him and treated Him like He was nothing in the end. People didn’t see how amazing and wonderful He was, they just saw a stone, not a living stone.
Being rejected means that sometimes we’ll have to stand on our own.
Sometimes people won’t get why you’re living the way you are, why you’re doing the things you’re doing, and that’s definitely part of being reviled and rejected by men. Reviling happens because the darkness in others sees and then rejects the light they see and sense in us.
So how do we live with being reviled? How do we live out Christianity if we’ll be rejected?
I haven’t personally been through harsh rejection, but I do know that with the grace of God we can learn to see rejection as a good thing. Hold on, let me explain.
If the world hates you, it means you’re living out Christianity and doing something right.
This may sound crazy, but as a believer in God and a Christian, the world should hate you and God’s ways in you. It is part of being a Christian. How do we deal with that, though? I think it helps to remember whose approval we’re striving to get and chasing after. Is it God’s? Or, on the other hand do we want man’s approval? Would you rather have God or men applauding you? God’s approval is SO much better! Man’s approval doesn’t last long, it’s always changing, and we’ll never get it fully.
Being reviled and tortured will happen when we live out our faith. Will we do it? Will you rise to the challenge?
So how do we apply these truths to our lives? Here are a few ways:
- Remember what is precious and truly matters in the end. Is it (a) pleasing men or (b) pleasing God?
- Know that God never asks us to do things that He cannot and hasn’t helped us to do. With His strength, you can stand even in the toughest times.
- Even if you feel timid and weak in standing for truth, He has enabled you. If you’re saved and striving to live for Christ, you have Him in you and can do all things (Phillipians 4:13).
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