“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?” Romans 8:31
“Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.” 2 Tim. 3:12
One thing I’ve learned about following the Lord Jesus Christ is that loved ones aren’t always on board so to speak – and that sometimes they never are at all. Sometimes we face crucial crossroads. We are clear the Lord is leading us in a certain direction to do a certain thing for a certain purpose in a certain place with certain people at a certain time FOR HIS GLORY.
But sometimes those from whom we would most love and appreciate love, encouragement, prayers, kindness, patience, generosity, tender words, comfort, humility, and help and support are not for us at all but instead come against us with a lack of love, no encouragement, no comfort and help, and even sometimes harsh words, discouragement, verbal attack, lack of support, questioning, doubt, meanness, and the like.
Each time the Lord has given me my next location as I’m now out on the road for Him and ministry full-time, I’ve been reminded all over again how incredibly much it hurts when people from whom I so want to receive love and support come against me instead doubting me and more and most importantly doubting the Lord.
But following Christ isn’t just about going where He sends us to do what He sends us to do. It’s also about being Christlike all along the way – where we already are, on the way to going where we are headed, and when we get there.
And this means that when persecution comes, and the Bible makes abundantly clear that it will, we are to LOVE, to FORGIVE, to show MERCY, to TURN THE OTHER CHEEK, to REPENT when we fall into sin in response to being hurt by those persecuting us, to POUR OUT OUR HEARTS INCLUDING OUR HURTS TO THE LORD AND RECEIVE HIS COMFORT, WISDOM, STRENGTH, HEALING, AND DIRECTION, to SHAKE THE DUST OFF OUR FEET and LET GO OF PEOPLE IF HE WANTS US TO LET GO OF THEM AND WALK AWAY IF THAT IS HIS WILL, and, above all else, to SEEK GOD, HEAR GOD, FOLLOW GOD, AND GLORIFY GOD as HIS SPIRIT LEADS US FORTH!
And it is vitally important in the midst of it all that we don’t hold back from following Jesus where He is leading us in order to please and make happy and win the affections and approval of loved ones because OUR NUMBER ONE LOVE and the ONE FOR WHOM WE ARE TO LIVE TO LOVE AND OBEY is Christ Jesus who is forever Lord! WE WHO BELIEVE IN JESUS MUST FOLLOW JESUS NO MATTER THE COST!
If you are clear the Lord is leading you, and you are sure what you believe He is showing you lines up with the Bible because He will never speak against His own Word, and you have sought counsel from strong Christ followers if, when, and as He leads you, love the Lord, trust the Lord, set your eyes and heart on the Lord and His Word, and carry on. Following Jesus! One step by Jesus-following faith-filled step ahead!