I hate to be hated. I have a problem with people disliking me; it bothers me. My wife is even worse than I am. She will go way out of her way to try to win over anyone she senses has a problem with her. But the fact is that there will be people who dislike and even hate us, even though we have done nothing against them. They will hate us because of Jesus in us. They will hate the righteousness that we represent. I did not say they will hate our perfection because we aren't there yet, but they will hate our desire to do what is right and to shun what is wrong. They will hate our love of Jesus Christ. How are you going to handle that?
King David had a lot of enemies. One of his sons turned against him and stole the kingdom from him. David had to run away, fleeing from his own flesh and blood. And there were many who stood with his son, against him. David stated to God:
I have a lot of enemies, Lord.
Many fight against me and say,
“God won’t rescue you!” (Psalm 3:1-2)
There's the kicker; when people attack your relationship with God. Understand the source of it. The enemy of our soul, the enemy of our God wants to destroy our faith. It has nothing to do with us and everything to do with inflicting pain on our Father. He hates our Father and tries to get at him through us. If he can steal God's child away and bring him into his own camp he knows he has inflicted pain on the Father's heart. So he tries to scare us:
"God won't rescue you."
"This is your mess. You caused it. God won't rescue you from it."
"Sure God loves you but you messed up. This is your punishment."
Whatever it takes to scare us away from our faith, to cause us to doubt our Father's love, to make us give up because he wants us to forget that nothing can separate us from God's love. Nothing. But David knew, refused to forget despite his circumstances, who his saviour was. He refused to doubt God. He refused to turn to any other source for rescue. He knew and refused to let go:
But you are my shield,
and you give me victory
and great honor.
4 I pray to you, and you answer
from your sacred hill. (Psalm 3:3-4)
It doesn't matter if you created the mess. It doesn't matter if you have given people just cause to hate you. It doesn't matter if you made them your enemy; our Father will not abandon you. David created the mess he was in. He provoked his son by his inaction. He also refused to take steps to prevent what happened but his weaknesses did not cause him to deny God's strength or character. In this age of grace, when God has freely poured out his love upon his children and leads us by the hand, why do we doubt him and fear abandonment? David did not have what we have and yet he knew God well enough to be able to sleep at night and declare he was not afraid:
I sleep and wake up refreshed
because you, Lord,
6 Ten thousand enemies attack
from every side,
but I am not afraid. (Psalm 3:5-6)
But we fear everything. We fear our enemies, our finances, our health, our schooling, our future. We fear we will not get what we want because we are more interested in that than in the Father's will. What a crazy mixed up bunch we are, singing the praises of our God one minutes and not able to sleep because of fear and anxiety in the next.
I invite you to declare with me right now, ``You are my God!" and accept everything that comes with that declaration. Now put what you need in front of that declaration:
"I will not fear because you are my God!"
"I will rejoice because you are my God!"
"I am victorious and triumphant because you are my God!"
"I will sleep tonight because you are my God!"
"I will love those who hate me and show kindness to those who persecute me because you are my God!"
"I will bear witness to your love and grace by my actions and words today because you are my God!"
Because you are my God. Exercise your faith today. Trust. Allow his peace and joy to flow through you today so that it becomes infectious all around you. You are a witness so let your testimony be one of faith and trust today, even in the face of your enemy, because he is our God!