To be a faithful follower of Jesus and to practice your faith as Jesus did can be a very unrewarding and trying experience for you nowadays.
Whenever you simply mention Jesus’ dear name, folks recoil from you with menacing grimaces upon their faces.
Whenever you try to assert his precious truth, especially about everyone’s continuous need to confess sins and turn from harmful and destructive ways toward Jesus’ helpful and constructive ones, folks angrily label you a narrow-minded, even a mean-spirited fool.
Whenever you take a principled stand for what is merciful, forgiving, and compassionate, especially for those who are different, foreign, or poor, folks ridicule you and scorn your empathy because it is so unusual to them. They just don’t get it, so they lash out at it.
In short, you are sent on a mission to save the lost from their destructive ways. But the society and culture to whom you are sent misunderstands who you are as a follower of Jesus and questions your motives. When you attempt to live into the calling of your baptism and reach out to them, they inevitably slander your good name and make your life difficult for doing a wonderful thing for them and Jesus.
Yes, these dreadful experiences with those you are trying to bring to Jesus can be very disappointing, even hurtful, or scary. Sometimes, you are tempted to give up, or worse yet, never try at all.
So, whenever you are tempted to refuse your mission to reach out to your neighbors for Jesus because of how they may negatively react to you, what do you do? To whom can you turn for help and strength so you may continue and succeed?
Well, according to Psalms 54 and 146, you can only turn to God.
Psalm 54 says, “For vindication against the arrogant and ruthless, continue to do what God wants and realize that God, alone, is your help. God, alone, will sustain you if you keep doing God’s work. The slander of your accuser God will cause to recoil upon them.”
Psalm 146 says, “Don’t put your trust in other people, especially the so-called powerful ones, because their plans always perish and come to nothing. Rather hope in God, alone, for God upholds the cause of the accused and oppressed…God frustrates the ways of the wicked.”
So, if you are out there right now trying your very best to save society and culture with the grace, love, and mercy of Jesus and you are being hated and bad-mouthed for it, then never fear! Don’t give up! Only turn to God in prayer and keep right on doing your mission. With God on your side, you will persevere and get your job done. You will feel blessed for doing it, and your eternal reward will one day come!