Translations: Chinese GB Big5

Mistreated

Isaiah 50:6,7
I offered my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard; I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting.  Because the Sovereign LORD helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore have I set my face like flint, and I know I will not be put to shame.


Comment

Suffering persecution, ridicule and slander is part of what it is to walk as Jesus walked. In fact rather than avoid such humiliation there is a welcoming or acceptance of such mistreatment as inevitable for those born of God, as Jesus said, "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you." Matt 5:11,12 So also he said, "If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also." John 15:20 And "All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved."  Matthew 10:22

But despite all the mistreatment this is not to say that the Christian (nor Christ himself) felt ashamed or disgraced. How can this be? It is first of all because those born of God don't care what people think about them. It is because humility is characteristic of God's children. But secondly God's children are forward looking. The inevitable destiny of those born of God is glory and honor. In place of shame there is a feeling of anticipation of future glory and honor.

Conviction - "setting my face like flint" - is evidence of such hope. In anticipation of his impending death it says, "Now it came to pass, when the time had come for Him to be received up, that He steadfastly set His face to go to Jerusalem" Luke 9:51 This sense of perseverance to accomplish the mission Paul also expressed in Php 3:13,14 saying, "one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,  I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus."

Therefore don't make it a principle in your Christian life to avoid persecution. For "everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted." 2Tim 3:12 If you're not suffering persecution then you must be doing something wrong.


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