People under duress do amazing things, but they also are capable of doing terrible things. The saying tells us that, “It is in times of trouble that you find your real friends.” Most of the time, those friends are part of a very small cluster – family, classmates, neighbors, and colleagues. Those are the people to who would never be your enemy. They are supposed to stay on your side all the way, supporting and helping you during the trials and struggles.
The biggest challenge for us is that the support and friendship of others can change in the twinkling of an eye. As soon as you become a remnant, there are some people who because of your position and faith, will reject you. Because of that you need to be aware that you may make new enemies, enemies that you would never expect. They were supposed to be on your side helping you during the tough times, but now they are joining forces with the other side to put you down.
The Scriptures are full of warnings about this kind of situation. Here are some from the Old Testament:
“Even my close friend, whom I trusted, he who shared my bread, has lifted up his heel against me. Psalm 41:9.” and “It is not an enemy who taunts me— I could bear that. It is not my foes who so arrogantly insult me— I could have hidden from them. Instead, it is you—my equal, my companion and close friend. Psalm 55:12-13.”
In the New Testament Jesus also warned His disciples about this situation. He made clear that because they were His disciples they would face persecution from people that they never thought would do that – even their own family. This is what Jesus told them: “a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household.’ Matthew 10:36.” and “You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death. Luke 21:16.”
The idea here is to make you aware that if you made a serious decision to follow Jesus, the possibility of this happening is closer than you think. You need to be prepared for that. This is what you need to know:
1. Jesus, through His Spirit, will be with you all the time, no matter what happens.
2. God will use the community of faith to sustain you during your trials. That does not necessarily mean your local church. Sometimes God will use people in your congregation and sometimes from outside of your congregation to give you the support that you need.
3. God will surprise you, bringing relief from places that you never expected. Our God is the God of providence and He can use anything He wants to help His servants. He did this with Elijah by sending ravens and a widow to give him food.
Do not forget. God knows what you have been through. He is a good and powerful God, and He cares for you. So, my brothers and sisters, no matter who is against you, remember that God is for you.
Have a blessed week,