The Christian’s life is completely built upon the promises of God. Christianity has its eyes set, not on the follower and what they do, but on the Triune God and what He has promised. The promises of God are the life of His people.
However, not all promises offer the same type of thing. Some promises have to do with wonderful things like salvation. For example, all men are promised that if they believe in Jesus Christ (i.e. they put their confidence in Him as Savior) they will be saved (John 3:16). However, not all of God’s promises have to do with salvation or other equally glorious things (comfort, peace, eternal security); some promises have to do with much less desirable realities.
This brings us to one of Jesus’ most unpopular promises. It goes like this:
Brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death, and you will be hated for my name’s sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved. Matthew 10:21-22
This is not a promise of salvation or comfort or peace or eternal security; it is a promise of suffering. According to this, Jesus promises all believers that their faithfulness to Him will result in hostility from the world. All those who love Christ will be hated by the world. That’s a promise.
Why do I bring this up? Because, more than anything, I need to be reminded of this. Following Jesus will not make me a popular man in the world. This is becoming more and more true every day; especially here in the States. Our current country of temporary residence is becoming less tolerant of those from the Home Country. Although I cling to the precious promises of salvation (John 3:16), peace (Philippians 4:6-7), eternal security (John 10:29), and the others, I need this promise of suffering to create in me a spine of steel to bear up all the suffering and persecution that will come my way. Jesu promises that my pilgrimage will not be sailed through on a cloud of ease, but a road of suffering. The crown of glory must be preceded by the crown of thorns. My Master was hated and promises the same fate for me.