It’s difficult to be a Christian.
We saw that yesterday in the Louisiana Legislature over a bill known as the “Pastor Protection Act.” The House has approved the bill; now we wait for the Senate. This morning’s assessment of the bill in NOLA.com shows why it’s hard to be a Christian. Governor John Bel Edwards has said he will not veto the legislation and thinks it is mostly harmless:”I don’t believe we have pastors today who are under threat of anything adverse happening to them if they don’t officiate a gay wedding.”
Maybe it is harmless and unnecessary. It certainly feels different than that.
Amazingly, we seem to be suffering persecution for our desire to live quiet, peaceable, and holy lives. Who could be upset with that? Yet today we see great persecution against those who follow Christ and lift up His commands.
Jesus prepared us for what we would face. Matthew 10 describes how He sent out His disciples to go through the cities of Judah, preparing the way of the Lord. He gave practical advice, but He also prepared them for the difficulty of seeking to live a holy life.
“Look, I am sending you out as sheep among wolves. Be as wary as snakes and harmless as doves. But beware! For you will be handed over to the courts and beaten in the synagogues” (Matthew 10:16-17). Jesus told us in effect that the Christian life will be a battleground not a playground (Warren Wiersbe).
Though we go through difficult times, we must not have a spirit of fear. This difficult time we face is our opportunity: “And you must stand trial before governors and kings because you are my followers. This will be your opportunity to tell them about me–yes, to witness to the world. When you are arrested, don’t worry about what to say in your defense, because you will be given the right words at the right time. For it won’t be you doing the talking–it will be the Spirit of your Father speaking through you” (Matthew 10:18-20).
God has a plan for us that is more important than our comfort. He wants us to use every opportunity to make Him known–even persecution.
Let us use our troubles to proclaim the Prince of Peace and the Lord of lords.
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