"If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also." John 15:20
Abdullah is a young man from the predominantly Mus?lim country of Uzbekistan. Five years ago he lost his parents and most of his siblings, so at times he feels very lonely. No, it wasn't a terrorist attack, a car crash, or some other tragic accident. Five years ago Abdullah be?came a follower of Jesus Christ, and in response most of his Muslim relatives turned away from him.
Sadly, Abdullah's story is not uncommon. Even if we live in a tolerant society, we may experience rejection by family members, friends, and neighbors because we follow Jesus. In our reading for today the Lord tells us not to be surprised if we are hated and persecuted on his be?half. Many people don't know the true God, and they often harass Christians. Spiritual arrogance is the main reason for this hatred.
Jesus knows what we are going through when we suffer on his behalf, for he was persecuted terribly. And just as he promised, he sends us the Spirit of truth to encourage us and help us tell others about God. The Holy Spirit is with us every day, guiding us in our journey of faith. And once the Spirit breaks down people's arrogance toward God, relations are easier to repair.
From a recent letter we received from Abdullah, we learned that he has reestablished relations with his younger sister. How? She has also become a Christian!
Our Father, we praise you for your Spirit, who comforts us when we are rejected or persecuted because of your name. Help us witness to people who don't know you. Amen.
See God's love, power, presence, and purpose in your life every day!