In John 15 Jesus warns his disciples that the world will hate them. That’s pretty strong language. Matthew Henry says that hatred “is the character and genius of the devil’s kingdom.”
Serious language for a serious situation!
But why would Jesus spend so much time telling them about the world’s hatred?
First, he wants to tell them the truth. Second, he wants to prepare them. “All this I have told you so that you will not fall away” (John 16:1).
So that you will not fall away.
Let’s say you’re about to walk onto a battlefield and your commanding officer tells you that it’s going to be a cakewalk and that you won’t face any real opposition. That will impact your attitude. As a result, you might stroll onto the battlefield, without any real plan. You might not even pull out your weapon.
But if your commanding officer tells you that its life or death and that the enemy is going to throw everything they’ve got at you, that will also impact your attitude. You’re going to be battle-ready.
Our commanding officer is Jesus and he’s telling us to be ready. Ours is not a physical battle, but a spiritual one. He’s not telling us that things MIGHT be a battle, but they ARE a battle.
When you think that life is a playground when it’s really a battle ground you’re going to get caught off guard time and time again—and you might even “fall away.”
Worship in spirit and in truth. Be immersed in the Scriptures. Pray in all circumstances. Return hate with love. Drown insults with compassion. Put on the belt of truth. Stand firm.
When you think that life is a playground when it’s really a battle ground you’re going to get caught off guard time and time again.
Listen to Jesus, and be prepared.
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–Today’s devotional is based on my latest sermon: “When the world hates you because of your faith.” (January 29, 2023). Click here to watch or listen.
–Bible quotes are from the NIV.