1 John 3:7-24
"Do not be surprised, my brothers and sisters, if the world hates you." 1 John 3:13
...can I be a little hurt? Can I be a little upset? Am I just not supposed to be surprised? I mean, how do I respond to this?
It feels like a lot to ask.
Coming to the Bible today I had a lot on my mind already and then this is what I read and it's hardly encouraging. It's a little too much to wrap my head around. It might even be a little infuriating.
Looking at this verse...the only verse that really stood out to me in this whole chunk of reading (how annoying is that) I thought, how do I write about this? What do I think about this?
I mean I get it conceptually. The world is going to hate us because we are like Buddy the Elf in angry, busy New York City. But it's okay because we have a determined joy and confidence in hope.
But maybe today I don't feel like I have determined joy and confidence in hope. Maybe today I feel like I'm hated. And I'm upset, I'm hurt, and maybe I surprised. Yes, John, maybe I am surprised. Maybe I'm surprised because I didn't want to be hated.
Hanging in my bedroom trying to figure out what the heck to write with all this heaviness swirling around and the need to shower and the clock is ticking before I need to go to bed...I realized "wait, advent. I'm supposed to be looking for Christmas here."
And all of a sudden, I did feel like Buddy the Elf. Verse 14 "we have passed from death to life"!!
"Don't be surprised..if the world hates you..we have passed from death to life!!"
We are altogether different from the world, we shine brighter and livelier. We have FULL joy and CERTAIN hope. We don't cling to magical wishes; we stand on the rock.
In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song
This cornerstone, this solid ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm
What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My comforter, my all in all
Here in the love of Christ I stand.
In Christ alone, Who took on flesh
Fullness of God in helpless babe
This gift of love and righteousness
Scorned by the ones He came to save
Till on that cross as Jesus died
The wrath of God was satisfied
For every sin on Him was laid
Here in the death of Christ I live.
There in the ground His body lay
Light of the world by darkness slain
Then bursting forth in glorious day
Up from the grave He rose again
And as He stands in victory
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me
For I am His and He is mine
Bought with the precious blood of Christ.
No guilt in life, no fear in death
This is the power of Christ in me
From life’s first cry to final breath
Jesus commands my destiny
No power of hell, no scheme of man
Can ever pluck me from His hand
Till He returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand.
"In Christ Alone" by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend