“Everyone will hate you because of me.” Luke 21:17
Being hated by others is probably not something for which we attempt to attain; but being a Christian it is inevitable as Jesus tells His disciples and us that this will happen. Have you ever given this passage much thought? Actually, we have lived most of our lives in America during a time of religious freedom; unlike some of our great-grandparents experienced. A small number of us actually know what it means to be hated by the world; but that is rapidly changing.
The child eating their daily meal at the Lutheran School in St. Marc is probably hated by some in the neighborhood where he lives because he follows Jesus and believes in the Triune God. The vodou followers hate him and hate you for feeding him and have been told by their vodou priest that Jesus is dead…period. There may be people in your family, or place of work or within your circle of friends who know that you are helping to feed children in Haiti and they think you are foolish or perhaps hate you because you are not giving your treasures to them instead of Trinity/HOPE.
Stand firm. Be reminded that your treasures are being used wisely to feed His children and also that Jesus has told us that this world will hate you because of Him. Your love of Christ sets you apart from this world. I close with the words of the hymn ‘I Know My Faith is Founded’ that was written by Erdmann Neumeister in 1718.
“I know my faith is founded on Jesus Christ, my God and Lord; and this my faith confessing
unmoved I stand upon His Word. Man's reason cannot fathom the truth of God profound; who trusts her subtle wisdom relies on shifting ground. God's Word is all-sufficient, it makes divinely sure, and trusting in its wisdom, my faith shall rest secure. Increase my faith, dear Savior, for Satan seeks by night and day to rob me of this treasure and take my hope of bliss away. But, Lord, with Thee beside me, I shall be undismayed; and led by Thy good Spirit, I shall be unafraid. Abide with me, O Savior, a firmer faith bestow; then I shall bid defiance to every evil foe. In faith, Lord, let me serve Thee; though persecution, grief and pain should seek to overwhelm me, let me a steadfast trust retain; and then at my departure take Thou me home to Thee and let me there inherit all thou hast promised me. In life and death, Lord, keep me until Thy heaven I gain, where I by Thy great mercy the end of faith attain.”
Dear Heavenly Father, you have called your servants to ventures of which we cannot see the ending, by paths as yet untrodden, through perils unknown. Give us faith to go out with good courage, not knowing where we go but only that your hand is leading us and your love supporting us through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Amen.
May God be with you…Jay