Monday, January 28, 2013
Is This How Jesus Felt?
January 5, 2013
Desert places....have you been there? I come to them now and then on this journey. Places, and times where I feel alone in my walk. Where I feel persecuted for following God and His will. It happens more often than I'd like. The toughest part I think, is when i feel persecuted by people closest to me; those that I would hope know my heart and my intentions. This is when the persecution is the most painful. Recently I had a situation that was particularly painful. I felt attacked for standing up for something I felt was the right thing to do. The blessing in it though, was that God allowed me to see the pain He went through for me; for us. How lonely must Jesus have felt in the desert. How forsaken during His Agony in the Garden. He knows the pain in my heart in these times, because He felt it too. I was so very grateful for this moment where I felt Jesus said to me, "I have been there and I am enough for you."
Scripture tells us that to follow Him will not be easy. Doing God's will can be difficult and takes courage, but it's what He desires. We need to keep our eyes focused on HIM in order to be able to "take up our cross and follow Him". Here are some verses I cling to in these times. They give me hope and I pray they will do the same for you if you struggle with feeling isolated for doing God's will.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. Matthew 5:10-12
But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. Matthew 5:44
If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.... If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also...They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the One who sent me. John 15:18-21
But He said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10
For the wisdom of the world is foolishness in God's sight. 1 Corinthians 3:19
Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of The Lord, because you know that your labor in The Lord is not in vain. 1 Corinthians 15:58
...the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.
...let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart. Hebrews 12:1-3
... But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps. 1 Peter 2:20-21
But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed.... Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. It is better, if it is God's will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil. 1 Peter 3:14-17