I am a Jesus pusher!!! Jesus highlights the absolute certainty of persecution (Matthew 5:10-11). Paul writes to the Thessalonians concerning his love for them. His desire was that no one should be shaken by these afflictions; for you yourselves know that we are appointed to this. For, in fact, we told you before when we were with you that we would suffer tribulation, just as it happened, and you know (1 Thessalonians 3:3-4). Paul seemed to think that persecution is inevitable. He predicted it; it came to pass.
Some years ago a popular national magazine took a survey to determine the things that make people happy. The responses revealed several things: happy people enjoy other people but are not self-sacrificing; they refuse to participate in any negative feelings or emotions; and they have a sense of accomplishment based on their own self-sufficiency. Consider the opposite approach of Jesus as He calls us “Blessed.” We are helpless in our spirit, so there is no self-sufficiency. We consistently acknowledge this fact through mourning. We are meek, never seeking our own way. We are hungering and thirsting for Him instead of self. We live in a state of mercy and give mercy; we have a pure heart and make peace. The state of happiness from the world and the state of happiness in Jesus are extremely opposite. Each time the state of the Christian intersects the state of the world there will be conflict. It is called “persecution.” I am a Jesus pusher!!!