How to Prepare For Hostility
How will the church of Jesus Christ respond when the things that the church must believe are considered laughable, backwards, or worse?
It’s always been the case that Christianity has been derided by some. But now it’s not just people in far off Hollywood or in far away academia. It’s people next door. It’s the people you work with, the people you live with, the people you go to school with. How will the church of Jesus Christ respond when so many of those around us tell us that what we believe is repugnant? What will we do when we are the moral minority?
You cannot plan for opposition, at least not in the way we might think. You cannot plan for it by ruminating and worrying about it, or by making yourself miserable now so you’ll be prepared to suffer later, or by fearfully anticipating the worse in every situation.
The only way to prepare for persecution (however big or small) is to trust that if that day comes there will be new mercies on that morning for you. The only way to prepare to walk with Jesus on that day is to walk with him on this day.
The best preparation is not to meditate on yourself. What would I be like if I were persecuted? Would I be a coward? Will I be terrified? Sometimes we think, “If I suffer or get cancer or something bad happens to me, I’d be a wreck. I won’t be able to handle it. If persecution comes my way, or people think poorly of me, or if I have to deal with hatred in the classroom, I will surely fail.” But that’s putting the focus in the wrong place. The answer is not to meditate on yourself, but to meditate on Christ.
If you want to have a face like an angel on the day of trial, you need to reflect the glory of God now.
If you want to see the Son of God in the clouds on your last day, you need to look upon the face of the Son of God on this day.
Be full of faith. Be full of wisdom. And pray for the Holy Spirit that you may know Christ richly, love him sweetly, and be assured of his grace and mercy to you at all times. If that is deep in your hearts, then how could you possibly deny him? How could you turn from him? How could you reject Him? He is your only comfort in life and in death.