“If you are censured and suffer abuse [because you bear] the name of Christ, blessed [are you—happy, fortunate, to be envied, with life-joy, and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of your outward condition], because the Spirit of glory, the Spirit of God, is resting upon you.
On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified.” I Peter 4:14 AMP
I must realize that Jesus is not only a great tension reliever, but also a tension “bringer”.
If I expect Him to relieve all my tensions, I have a vain expectancy. Merely, to know and follow Jesus will create all kinds of problems for me.
Mary, His mother, received that word when she gave Him birth; “A sword will pierce even your own soul.” (Lk 2:5)
Have I felt the piercing of my soul because of my commitment to Jesus?
Have I lost friends, seen families divided or seen increasing bitterness among acquaintances because I determined to make Him my all?
Mary must have gone through a thousand agonies once Jesus was born. There must have been tension in the home.
“For his own brothers did not believe in him.” John 7:5 NIV
How did Mary manage to referee between her holy Son and her other natural children? How could she stand their hatred of Him, knowing all the while who He was?
When Jesus later said, “A prophet is not without honor except in his home town” was He referring to the daily snubs of His half brothers and sisters? (Matt. 13:57)
Jesus said He “did not come to bring peace, but a sword.” (Matt. 10:334) He came to make mothers and daughters and fathers and sons one another’s enemies. (vs 35)
I am a very poor disciple indeed if I cannot name one person who has been offended because I chose to follow Jesus. But I must be careful that it is for His sake that enemies are made, not for my own.
When my own rights and privileges are concerned, I must be as harmless as a dove; but when His rights and privileges are concerned, I must be a militant warrior.
Lord, give me wisdom to discern when I must be militant; then give me the assurance of Jeremiah:
“But the Lord is with me as a mighty and terrible One; therefore my persecutors will stumble, and they will not overcome [me]. They will be utterly put to shame, for they will not deal wisely or prosper [in their schemes]; their eternal dishonor will never be forgotten.” Jeremiah 20:11 AMP