I want to write about something that just now came to my mind. Sometimes I have these flashes of insight that seem to hit me all of a sudden, and if I don’t write about it in that exact moment it is gone before I can get another chance to. Perhaps it is the Holy Spirit speaking to my heart? Sometimes that is what I think. At least, it feels that way at times because usually these epiphanies that I have seem all too insightful to be my own.
I’ve just had this thought about how unpopular God is; I guess it has been on my mind for a few weeks now. To be honest, at first glance God seems pretty popular. People are always sharing those pictures and statuses on Facebook but just try and talk to most of those people about God and they will turn you away so fast it will make your head spin. I’m not saying ALL of them, but probably 90%. I’ve had many friends on Facebook that share those pictures and status messages claiming to be proud of God; and then they have either awkwardly backed out of a conversation with me about God or just never responded to a message I’ve sent them.
My point is, it has opened my eyes to just how unpopular God really is. I always knew that certain people were bitter towards God and certain people just flat out don’t believe or don’t care, but I didn’t expect such rejection from people who actually call themselves Christians. It was quite surprising and unsettling to me. It has made me reflect on my past and choices I have made to keep my faith hid at certain times so as not to be judged, made fun of, or criticized. I am working on being proud of my faith rather than ashamed of it. And this is something that I hope everyone will pray about if they are not already working on it.
Sometimes we are rejected by our friends and even our family for our faith, but I believe it is important to not hide our faith for the sake of others. Why would it be? Because it might make them like you a little better? Because it might avoid an argument? Because it might spare you some hardship?
Mark 8:36: 36 What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?
Sometimes it is really hard to overcome the fear of rejection. Actually, this blog is a big way I am overcoming that. Honestly, it was quite out of character for me to start this and be bold enough to put all of my thoughts out there for everyone I know to read, speculate, and possibly judge me by. But something inside me screamed that it was necessary because I have things to say that other people need to hear (whether they like it or not)! Being bold enough to share the gospel is something I continue to work on because I do not want to be a coward the rest of my life. Sometimes we have to be bold enough to tell people things they do not want to hear, because it is for their own good.
The thing is; here in the United States persecution really can’t even be considered an issue. Every once in a while you hear of someone dying for their faith, but when you compare our life style here to some other countries; simply being criticized and made fun of for you faith seems petty at best. But we need to remember that our country is headed there. The criticism/dislike of the Christian faith is increasing rapidly here in the US; and it is so important that we are spiritually prepared!
When you are struggling with persecution and the fear of showing your faith to others; here are some verses that might help you:
Mathew 5:12: 12 Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way.
Psalm14:1: Only fools say in their hearts, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, and their actions are evil; not one of them does good!
2 Timothy 3:12: 12 Yes, and everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.
John 15:20: 20 Do you remember what I told you? ‘A slave is not greater than the master.’ Since they persecuted me, naturally they will persecute you. And if they had listened to me, they would listen to you.
Romans 8:17: 17 And since we are his children, we are his heirs. In fact, together with Christ we are heirs of God’s glory. But if we are to share his glory, we must also share his suffering.
1 Peter 1:7: 7 These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.