The world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and on mountains, hiding in caves and holes in the ground. Hebrews 11:38
Oh, how differently God sees things. The only thing that matters is God’s viewpoint. His spiritual vision is uncluttered and there isn’t a trace of distortion; no cobwebs cloud his reasoning. His interpretation of people and events are right and true. I shudder to think of some of the assessments I’ve made over a lifetime that were far from God’s appraisal.
Opposite viewpoints are the point of this scripture. The world has regarded believers in Jesus one way – and in the time of the writing of Hebrews – they were expendable, worthless, stripped of all rights, and hunted down to be persecuted before being eliminated. If I were able to interview the political leaders of that time and ask them why they despised Jesus’ disciples, they would have given an extensive list of reasons. That’s the scary part. Their minds were darkened by sin and rebellion. God’s thoughts were far from their thoughts but still they were zealots of hatred.
While they considered disciples of Jesus worthless, God viewpoint was that it was really the other way around. He said that the world was not worthy of their presence. Such is the case for any child of God today who is being persecuted for righteousness sake. (What is righteous persecution as opposed to self-inflicted persecution due to soulish behavior? That will be the topic of tomorrow’s devotional.)
For now, if you are certain that you suffer because of your love for Jesus, you are of infinite worth to God even though others believe you are contemptible. It can be lonely to love Jesus more than the acceptance of others, more than you love family or a spouse, more than you love the praise of your children, and even more than you love the comfort of fitting in with others in ministry. It is lonely to love God’s specific instruction and to walk in solitary obedience.
We are a peculiar people, and rarely will the world understand our way of thinking any more than it understood the peculiar stories and unique mindset of Jesus. He interpreted his world in ways that could never have occurred to anyone else around Him. He and His Father were one and that unity gave Him the discernment to make righteous judgements. He said as much to the mixed crowd who were picking up stones to put a woman to death. He was alone as He forgave her. They were united to condemn. “I have much to say about you and much to judge, but he who sent me is true, and I declare to the world what I have heard from him.” John 8:26
Stop now and breathe in the favor of Your Father who, even now, might whisper, “Well done.”
Encourage someone right now is about to cave and feels they can’t take one more minute of feeling hated. Even for Your sake. Amen