The Cost Of Living For Christ
And Jesus said unto him, Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.
Matthew 8:18-22; Luke 9:51-62
It has been believed that Jesus had no where to lay his head just because he and his disciples would not afford a home! It has been believed that they lived in poverty! That is a misconception. In this instance, Jesus was pointing out the result of the persecution they were facing. The Samaritans, because of a religious prejudice, had just refused Him hospitality and a place to stay as He journeyed to Jerusalem. Persecution is part of the cost of living a Christian life. Jesus was communicating to this man that not having a place to stay at times was part of that cost.
There are many forms of persecution. Because of our faith in Jesus, we can have or lives threatened, but it is not the most damaging. History shows that the Church has always flourished under persecution with increased numbers and zeal. During intense, life-threatening persecution, people’s priorities get straightened out and the Lord assumes His rightful place. This always works for our good, regardless of what our outward circumstances might be.
Some days ago, I was visited by one of my friends in Christ. She narrated to me the ordeals she is facing at her work place! She told me she had refused to be part of a particular crime going on in the company in the ignorance of the Director! Reporting to the director might result to serious threats and danger! But she was determined to stand out and not “soil her hands with the kings meat”. She already know the kind of persecution she will pass through but she was ready for it! It was part of the cost of living for and following Christ.
A far more deadly form of persecution is men simply speaking evil of you or alienating you from themselves. It’s more deadly because it’s more subtle and confusing.
Many who would never directly deny the Lord will fall into self-pity or strife because of someone’s criticism. This will render one just as ineffective as a negative reaction to having one’s life threatened would.
You need to understand that God is at work in you! It is not actually you that they are fighting but God who is working in you. You are actually becoming a partaker of His sufferings and will share His rewards. With this in view, you can celebrate and shout for joy in the most of persecution! No wonder, Paul and Silas prayed and sang even after they had been beating and thrown into the prison!
PRAYER: Dear Lord, even in the midst of persecution and suffering, help me to stand strong! I will keep standing for you!