34 “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to turn “‘a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law— 36 a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’ 37 “Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 Whoever does not take up their cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.
Matthew 10:34-39 (New International Version)
Accepting Jesus as Lord is the greatest moment of any Christians’s life. Knowing that they were forgiven of their sins and guaranteed eternal life fills them with a joy that surpasses all things. While a faith follower in Christ may have peace of mind in regards to their destiny in eternity, finding it in this life is another matter.
Hostility to our Joy
This joy that a Christian has for Christ compels them to share it to others. However, not everyone will welcome the Gospel of Christ that we share. In fact, they will oppose it viciously and even threaten the believer with physical harm.
What is even more shocking, this hostility towards the Good News is not restricted to total strangers. Even family members refuse to hear the Message of God from their Christian relatives. They even go as far as not wanting any part of them.
The Boss of the World
Why can’t the follower of Christ find peace in this world? Isn’t Jesus called the Prince of Peace? Jesus warns us, in Matthew 10, that when we accept Him as our Lord and Savior, we will not have physical peace in this world. That is because this world that we live in is under the authority of the Devil and he has instilled in the heart of all people resentment towards the One who could save them from their sins.
What does Satan use to instill hate towards Christ? Pride in one’s goodness is the fuel which drives the rejection of the Gospel. The devil fools people into believing the lie that there is no such thing as sin, and that as long as they are a good person, they will go to heaven. The problem for people who believe this lie, is that there is no way in knowing if they have done enough to earn heaven. As a result, they are left with no peace of mind about their destiny.
The Devil’s Peace
Furthermore, the Evil One deceives the world even further by altering the definition of peace. In the world’s view, formed through Satan’s lies, peace is the result of one having their own way all the time. The problem with this worldview is that the things that people want may hinder others from getting what they want. As a result, conflicts arise until a resolution is made in the form of some kind of compromise and in the end, no peace is realized because the wants of the people were not fulfilled.
With all this hostility towards the Gospel, what is the Christian to do? As a faith follower, it is important that we do not compromise our faith in an attempt to appease those who oppose our Message. This commonly happens when we are trying to witness to unbelieving family members.
Where Loyalty Lies
However, if we do such a thing, we are sugarcoating the Gospel to the point that it does not have an impact. By doing this, we are not providing adequate testimony of the One who saved us. In fact, when we compromise with unbelievers (even faithless family members), we are essentially saying to the world that we are not in Christ; and that our loyalty is with our earthly family. When it comes for the Christian to choose between their family and Christ, they must choose Him always.
The Full Life
Being a follower of Jesus will require us to face opposition and persecution for His sake. Nevertheless, it is important that we do not run away from these challenges. To do so will result in us not reaching our full potential in the Lord. In the persecutions that we face, the Almighty molds us into the people which He calls us to be. A hollowed existence is the reward to those who run away from the hostility towards the Message.
The True Peace
While we may never find physical peace in this world based on the world’s definition, it is possible to still find peace. That peace is found only in submitting one’s self to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. It is in Him, that we find true peace. A peace that goes beyond just getting the things that we want. A peace that declares that all we ever wanted and needed is found only in Christ and that in Him, we are satisfied.