Thursday, September 25, 2014

What Christians can do in a world which hates them

It always seems to shock me when Christians are shocked or angered at the treatment of other Christians because of their faith. While it saddens me that Christians can’t practice their faith, it should not be a surprise at the world’s disdain for Christians. For Christ told us that it would be this way. In Matthew 10:22 (NIV), “All men will hate you because of me.” Christ also said in John 15:18 (NIV) “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.” My fellow Christians may be asking “What shall we do? Do we just lie down and take it?” No, we don’t but my plan of action is simple: prayer.

First, I find direction in Jesus’ final prayer: “Father, forgive them for do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34 NIV). Christ had every right to ask His Father to consume those who put him on the cross but instead he prayed for the Father to forgive them as He directed in Matthew 5:44 (NIV) “But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” I find this very difficult to love those who hate me or try to hurt me, but I know that my hate hurts me more than it hurts others. I follow my Lord’s lead and pray for those who would do me harm. I pray that the Lord show them the errors of their ways and that they may turn to Him for guidance.

Second, non-believers will ridicule a believer’s claim because they can’t see from God’s perspective. The evidence that I have for my faith is not going to be the same for someone else. I am commanded by Christ to spread the Word and share my faith. It is not my duty to save them. Christ does that. I am just the one who is planting the seed. Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 3:7 (NIV) “So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, makes things grow.” It’s not important who plants the seed of Christ in someone’s heart or who waters it, it is God who makes it grow. It is God who changes the heart and mind. Not me, not the TV evangelist, not the pastor at the pulpit on Sunday. It is God. We need to pray, let go and let God.

In conclusion, the Christian life is a long and difficult road with rewards beyond our wildest dreams that await us in Heaven. The most powerful tool, as Christians, is prayer. We must pray for our family, friends, our country and its leaders and the world. We must pray, let go and let God. He is in control and has much more power than we could ever muster.