John 15:19 "If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you."
We should not think it is strange to be persecuted. "All that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution" (2 Tim. 3:12). We can actually rejoice because we are being persecuted for Jesus' sake, and the Lord will be with us in the midst of the persecution. When we stand before Him, there will be more than ample reward.
Persecution is a token that those persecuting you are under conviction. They realize that they are not living what your words or actions are advocating, and in self defense they attack you, who they perceive is the source of their conviction. If you understand this, it makes persecution much easier to take. They aren't just mad at you; they are convicted. When the gospel is presented in the power of the Holy Spirit, there will always be either revival or riot, but not indifference.
In the midst of persecution, Satan will try to convince us that the strife is all our fault. If he succeeds, then we back down and the pressure is off his followers. However, Jesus suffered continual rejection and persecution, yet we know that the problem was not with Him, but with those who rejected Him.
Jesus makes it clear that persecution is an inevitable part of living a godly life, so that we will not fall prey to introspection and self-condemnation when rejection comes. If our sinless Savior was rejected, then certainly we will be too. Don't feel guilty or condemned when persecution comes. The Word strips people of the disguises they have been hiding their sins behind, and the result is persecution.
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