“All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.”
Jesus knew what his disciples were going to endure. This is why he urged them, “Trust me.” He wanted his followers to understand that the world was going to hate them just as it hated him. Jesus’ words which invited their trust were not empty. The disciples did experience the same rejection, animosity and hatred Jesus did.
Jesus pleads with me too: “Trust me, the world will hate you because of me.” My experience testifies to the truth of Jesus’ warning about the world. Daily, people ridicule the way I live. Daily, people attack what I believe. Daily, people seek to silence my witness about Jesus. Why should I be surprised by this kind of treatment? My life as a faithful disciple of Jesus will always be challenging. At the same time, my Savior also reminds me of the rescue he has prepared.
Jesus assures me of my salvation. My Lord and my Savior does not want me to become disheartened, discouraged, or fall way. The words he offers are full of love and encouragement: “He who stands firm to the end will be saved.”
Certainly, I recognize my weakness and my readiness to give up, but Jesus directs me away from myself and leads me to trust him, to stand firm on what he has done for me. And amazing is the only way to describe what he has done.
Jesus became my Savior with an amazing act of love. He humbled himself and became obedient to death on the cross. With his humiliation and crucifixion, he secured the victory and confidence I need. The burden of sin is removed. The power of the devil is defeated. Even my fear of the world is overcome.
It is because of Jesus’ complete and overwhelming victory I know I will stand firm. Absolutely nothing will separate me from his love, or the heaven he has prepared for me. Safe in Jesus’ loving arms and protected by his all-surpassing strength I can do exactly what he says, “Trust me!”
O loving and faithful Savior, I rejoice that you have called me to be your disciple. I recognize your great strength to support me. I also rely on your invitation to put my trust in you. Amen.
Source: WELS Devotions