As followers of Christ, we are called to go into the world and do good, act with love and kindness, and shine His light everywhere we go. Face value, this encouragement feels so warm and fuzzy and gives me the motivation to act upon my faith. A lot of Christians go into the world with this exact attitude, and they forget the repercussions of what it means to be a true follower of Christ, and in the end, they get disappointed with the way the world treated them.
“If the world hates you, understand that it hated me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own. However, because you are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of it, the world hates you” (John 15:18-19)
Jesus Himself had warned us that the world would not welcome us, His followers, with open arms. We are not on earth to be crowned and throned and praised because of our deeds, but to spread His love through our actions, without expecting anything in return. This battle isn’t something new – Jesus so clearly said that we will offer love and most likely, get something else in return. Our good deeds are more likely to fall onto unwilling hands and deaf ears, or even turn against us.
Peter, knowing all this from experience, wanted to encourage fellow believers to never lose hope and to keep doing good, not matter what the cost. “It is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God’s will, than for doing evil” (1 Peter 3:17)
Because of the boldness Christ gave us, we are free to face the world without being surprised at the reaction. In all things, Christ already went before us and died for our suffering – all the hurt and pain from the words and actions that have been or would be thrown at us. Because of the hope that Jesus gave us, we stand ready with that hope to face a dark world that so desperately needs it.
I pray that we, as a community of believers, may never lose this hope and that we may continue to follow the example of Jesus Christ. May the hope He gave us prepare our hearts for any battles and trials we face because of our love for Him. Let us remember that no matter how bad the world hurts us or how big the evil may seem, that our hope in Christ will break through.
— Chelsea Mendoza