Despised

Psalm 119:141 “I am small and despised, yet I do not forget your precepts.”

Doesn’t it look like Satan is winning most of the time? The entire world system is arrayed against God. People who despise God and his people are often the wealthiest, healthiest, most powerful people around. In some countries, the entire government isn’t just ambivalent to God’s Word but hostile to it and to those who believe it. Openly confess Christ in North Korea, Eritrea, or Iran and see what happens – you will find yourself in prison, tortured, or dead. And the government gets away with that behavior year after year.

In the face of this, if you are a believer, do you ever wonder what good following Christ has done for you? Has anyone ever mistreated you, even despised you because you serve Christ? Have you ever been mocked, or viewed as a “holy roller,” fanatic, or something worse, because you are open and unashamed about your faith? If so, you are in some very good company, for Jesus himself “was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief; and as one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not (Isaiah 53:3).” They spit in His face, mocked Him, set a crown of thorns on His head then beat the crown with sticks over and over again. Then they blindfolded Him, beat him in the face with their fists, scourged him, and ultimately murdered him on a cross – all because he was perfectly obedient to the Father.

But look at Him now! Exalted at the right hand of the Father, glorified, magnificent, eternally alive, and one day coming again in power and great glory to call His church to Himself and judge the world. And that’s what we have to look forward to, as well, if we endure as He did, and “for the joy set before us despise the shame” of loving and obeying our glorious King (Hebrews 12:2).

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