The passion to pursue has to come from somewhere else.
The endurance isn’t a piece of cake.
It isn’t like losing your houses or hotels on Park Avenue or the Boardwalk.
You don’t get to pass go and forget collecting $200.00.
Your treasure won’t be found in the Community Chest.
Persecution is the name of the game. But we weren’t the first to play it.
Out of the muck and mire we are stationed on this board game called life.
Jesus knew it all too well.
The disciples were forced to join in.
Joan of Arc died for it.
Why should we escape the foils of the game? Why should we get immunity from Chance?
We don’t. The slashing of words, the hatred of chit-chat, and the look of gall are part of the game.
Only the game is a dastardly deed for all involved.
Chiseled out of conversation, we all do it. Or have done it at one time or another. I am certainly guilty.
King David. Hid in caves. Chased. Hunted down for kill.
Daniel. Mocked. Betrayed. Thrown into a Lion’s Den.
Mother Mary. Ridiculed. Belittled. Misunderstood. Ignored.
John the Baptist. Lived in the desert. Ate locusts. Was beheaded.
Apostle Paul. Beaten. Starved. Shipwrecked. Imprisoned more than once.
Matthew 10:22 “All men will hate you because of me,
but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.”
And I thought I had a bad day.
Talk about throwing in the towel. Talk about quitting.
Was it all worth the pain, agony and disdain? Was it worth losing everything?
Must have been.
They didn’t give up. They didn’t stop.
The blows, the smacks, the punches didn’t keep them from their goal.
The emotional landslides, double-crossing brouhaha’s and uproars didn’t sway them.
They kept on believing what they were pursuing was the key to life.
They kept on traveling from door to door.
They kept on singing in a rat infested prison dungeon.
Persecution comes in many forms.
Standing for Jesus will get you slapped.
Endorsing his name you will be mocked.
Making the effort to follow him will open doors of ridicule, provocation and mercilessness.
Unfortunately it is almost expected.
Learning the methods of enduring it can be through a process of a daily dose of battering. God never said it would be easy.
Just know as it shows up, it means you must be doing something right.
You must be getting your point across even if you don’t know who they are that are persecuting you; even if you have never met them.
Across the internet lines of defense they will make their comments.
Sending you emails of their intolerant opinions.
Posting messages on social media to juggle your emotions.
Don’t be offended. Don’t be hurt. Don’t be angered.
Pray for them. Bless them. Allow God to work through your forgiveness to reveal his love for them.
Isn’t that what Jesus did on the cross?
Romans 12:14 “Bless those who persecute you. Don’t curse them; pray that God will bless them.”
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