Hear the word of the Lord, you who tremble at His word: ‘Your brethren who hated you, who cast you out for My name’s sake, said, ‘Let the Lord be glorified, that we may see your joy.’ But they shall be ashamed.” vs5
We have nothing to worry about, if we serve God. False brethren and hypocrites, even family and friends will turn against us for Christ’s sake and over the gospel, but the reward exceeds the loss, and we keep on rolling.
We are not subject to human opinion; we serve God in the freedom of Christ according to His word, not seeking approval from man but pleasing God at all costs. Paul said, “For do I now persuade men, or God? Or do I seek to please men? For if I still pleased men, I would not be a slave of Christ (Gal 1:10).” He is our Rewarder, and we look nowhere else – not to men, not to family, and not to those we serve; we look to God for all payback, and He gives it. He never lets down those who serve Him, and He never leaves us hanging. This confident boast of assurance is based upon taking Him at His word, “But they shall be ashamed”. He says elsewhere, “If you are reproached for the name of Christ, blessed are you, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified (1 Pet 4:14).”
They will be punished, they miss the blessing, and God gives you Himself while they get Satan. Envy no man who sins, and rebel not against the Lord by seeking approval from anyone but His word. You are going to suffer for following Christ, but your reward isn’t from pulling back but going forward, not from compromise but by lovingly standing on God’s word. Many will afflict you, but what do they have? God is on your side, and He’s against the religious hypocrite who doesn’t like your freedom, and then mocks you on the way to their own damnation. Yes, they shot out the lip at Christ, but He rose from the dead with His enemies as His footstool. Hebrews 10:12-13, says, “But this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down at the right hand of God, from that time waiting till His enemies are made His footstool.”
Do not fear and follow your Master. You’re appointed to suffer, but like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, you lose nothing and not even the smoke of fire is on you. Daniel 3 says, “They saw these men on whose bodies the fire had no power; the hair of their head was not singed nor were their garments affected, and the smell of fire was not on them.” The trial of your faith does nothing but increase your faith, increase your freedom, and bear record to all that God is with you indeed. Do not say, “Who will show me good”, when evil comes, but look up to the Lord who promises to overthrow your enemies. He confounds them for you. Therefore, take your freedom and go, preach the gospel, and live for Christ.
Do not deny yourself joy because someone else perishes! Would you gouge your eyes out because others are blind, or would you patiently teach them and look up at the beauty of heaven, when they denied it fiercely? You know God for the purpose of making Him known and using your gifts to help others. Yes, people do not like Him, and they will hate you – not because you aren’t loving, but because they don’t want to believe, give up their refuge of lies, and they don’t want Christ. Regardless, be faithful until the end, and YOU’LL receive the crown of life (Rev 2:10). Tremble continually, fearing no one but God, and your joy will be full.