Tuesday, September 16, 2014
September 16 – Honor in Insults
If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory, who is the Spirit of God, rests on you. (1 Peter 4:14 NET)
Here is one more promise of God that seems completely backwards to our natural mind. Who would imagine that being insulted and hated would be a good thing, even something to desire? The things of God go against our flesh. Understand that we are part of a fallen world that has distorted the truth — so once we start to live in a way that is right, it feels wrong because we’ve become so accustomed to living crookedly. We have to trust in God and develop spiritual instincts because we can no longer trust our human instincts. God tells us in Isaiah 55:8, “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways, says the Lord.”
Though obedience to God usually means denying our flesh, there are always huge blessings on the other side that please our spirits, our emotions and even our physical lives. But we have to go against our flesh first to find them. God is teaching us here how to find joy and blessings despite the hatred and insults that others hurl at us. We are to know without a doubt, that His Spirit is resting on us whenever we are misunderstood or mistreated because of our faith. We are closer to Him in times of persecution, more than even in times when we feel at peace. His glory is over us and we can expect His blessings and answers to our prayers to become evident because we are suffering for the sake of His name.
Our response to these insults and mistreatment, is to rejoice, and to tune in to the Holy Spirit who is resting on us right then. We are being given more authority to fight against evil, and He will give us clarity to see how to respond to our problems in a supernatural way. When Peter and the other apostles were arrested and thrown in prison for preaching about Jesus, they remained just as confident and joyful as ever. The Spirit of God opened the prison doors during the night, and they escaped. But instead of hiding in fear, they obeyed the guidance of the Holy Spirit who told them to go right back and preach in the temple that morning. Their boldness in faith threw their enemies into confusion (Acts 5).
If you don’t know yet how to deal with feelings of anger, hurt, or offense, you haven’t yet experienced the joy of being empowered by the Holy Spirit that is resting on you at that moment. Don’t forget that many who once ridiculed the apostles later were saved, and many who react unkindly towards you today could easily change in the future. Consider it an honor to suffer insults for your Lord, and make your flesh take a back seat to give God’s Spirit room to work miracles in you and even in the hearts of your persecutors. One thing you may want to consider, however, is if you have never faced rejection or any insult for your faith at all, are you really following Christ as you should?