In Mark 4:16-17 Jesus says that some people will fall away from their faith because of the trouble and persecution they will experience because of it. Since they have “no root” he says, “they last only a short time. When trouble or persecution comes because of the word, they quickly fall away.”
In the New Testament, trouble and persecution are ASSUMED. As Christianity became more popular, it wasn’t as common for people to experience this. But in our own day, and as it becomes increasingly unpopular to follow Jesus again, it will happen more and more.
But what Jesus says about trouble and persecution isn’t to scare you but to prepare you.
So over the next few days we’re going to talk about what you can do.
The first is quite simply this: Expect to be different.
With a few exceptions, we don’t usually like being different. It’s easier to fit in and just go with the flow. I once heard it said like this—that being different is like a nail that sticks out… it ends up getting hammered!
But we are different for God. Different for love. Different for truth. Different for good. Different for all the ways Jesus is bringing heaven to earth.
Expect it. Get used to it. Consider it a blessing.
When it comes to following Jesus, what makes you different is what makes you special.
By Matthew Ruttan
–Today’s devotional is related to my podcast from Sunday about how we respond to the increasing trouble and persecution we face as Christians today. You can watch the video here. (For the audio only go here and scroll down.) I hope it’s helpful.
–My latest blog is “More than one or two “faith issues” at the polls.” Check it out here. Enjoy!
–Bible quotes from the NIV.