The temptation of discouragement

Pray for those who persecute you. (Matthew 5: 44)


And Jesus said to his disciples: “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbour and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. (Matthew 5: 43-48)

Whenever we are feeling persecuted as Christians, whether in minor situations or for more important things, we must remember that we have been saved by Jesus. For all of us and for our salvation, Jesus was persecuted unjustly, even though he was totally innocent, while we, at least, have committed some sins. This should be a comfort to us when resisting the temptation of discouragement during life's adversities, while relying on Jesus who suffered far worse than us. So let us try and truly love Jesus, so that it will be less difficult for us to give Him our entire life.