Jump for Joy

In Soul Food on March 14, 2011 by The Spillover

In Paul’s letter to the Galatians, he makes this awesome statement:

Now you, brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise. But just as at that time he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, so also it is now.  -Galatians 4:28-29

Paul is explaining to the Galatians that the covenant between God and Isaac now belongs to those who are in Christ. That’s earth-shaking news. It changes everything. Nothing can ever be the same after this has come to fruition.

Similarly, this very Monday morning, those of us who are born again of the Spirit and are submitted to Christ as Lord of our lives share in this covenant between God and man. We’re part of it.

Just like He promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, God promises us: we are His people, and He will never forget His covenant with us.

I doubt we can grasp even the smallest amount of the profundity of this truth, this side of Heaven.

The second part of Paul’s statement applies to us as well. The truth of God’s covenant with Christ’s Spirit-born followers does not bode well with those born of the flesh (psst…that means everyone else).

Being ostracized for Jesus can be tough to deal with. It can leave you red-faced, with a lump in your throat. It can fly in the face of the way you were raised. It can be exhausting. It can be confusing. It can be degrading. It can be demoralizing.

So what are we to do in the face of persecution?

Give up? Quit? …Nope.

Slow down? Take it easy? …Nope.

Wipe our nose, keep our head down, and press on in sobriety and sullenness? …Nope.

How about this: Jump for Joy.

Blessed are you when men hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven. For that is how their fathers treated the prophets.  -Luke 6:22-23

That’s Jesus talking, friends. He understands our grief, anxiety, and embarrassment. He knows what it feels like to be ostracized, far beyond what we do.

He tells us to jump for joy when we’re persecuted for being His servants.

Can you imagine how great this reward in Heaven must be?

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