Mark 10:29-30

Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life. 

Yes, there are great blessings one receives for following Jesus in today’s world, but along with the blessings are persecutions.

This Scripture reminds us that whatever you gave up to follow Jesus, you will recover. The relationships you loss, and the wealth you could have had, HE promises will be regain hundredfold in your lifetime. Plus, in the new age, you will also secure eternal life.

However, with all this you will also find yourself being persecuted.

Jesus also during HIS “sermon on the mount” dialogue encouraged HIS followers to rejoice as they are blessed for being persecuted for righteousness’ sake, and great will be there reward in heaven (Matt 5:10, 12).

And again, Jesus’ also forewarned and reminded His disciples even as HE was persecuted, so will they, but people will also respond to their words as people responded to HIS words (John 15:20).

The apostle Paul reiterated this point when he wrote to his protégé Timothy that all those who desire to live a godly life in Christ will be persecuted (2 Tim. 3:12).

Persecution though comes in various forms. In the western democracies, persecution is mild compared with other countries where being a Christ follower is legally prohibited. The penalty is either severe prison time or even death.

In America, you may find yourself losing friends, business acquaintances, and possibly even family members because of your firm belief to follow Jesus. You may suffer cancel culture and be removed from social media. You may have lies, verbal insults, and character assassination thrown your way. If so, don’t be shocked. Remind yourself that Jesus instructed us to rejoice and set you sights to your eternal reward.

Most of us in America have not yet lost our lives because of our beliefs. We may have lost jobs, lost opportunities, and even lost meaningful relationships. Yet, those are replaceable. As these trials come upon us, we learn to lean on HIM and watch as HE maneuvers circumstances to build our trust in HIM as HE restores in time what was taken from us.

We forgo being bitter, angry, or frustrated. Instead, we forgive others as HE has forgiven us, and move on.

We pray for those who persecute us. We learn to love them as Christ loves us.

We step back and in sacrificial service to them expose them to the King’s way of living. This becomes our opportunity to preach the gospel without words.

Humanly speaking, you may think this is impossible. Which is probably true. But with HIM, all things are possible.

Yes, persecution hurts. But the opportunity to showcase God’s love in an ugly environment is too good to pass up. Lean on HIM when the time comes and let HIM lead you via the Holy Spirit to respond HIS way. He is always with you through the good times and bad. Let HIM lead and you follow. He will be glorified, and you will be pleased to serve your King in a meaningful way.

Rooting For You in Christ!

Dr. Mike

Encourager, Faith-Integrator, Scribbler

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