Real Joy

Every word that Christ prophesied has been fulfilled. After the outpouring of the Spirit on Pentecost, we saw how his disciples were indeed persecuted, imprisoned and put to death as he had said would happen. Then during the time of the persecution of the early Church in Rome, the Christians were betrayed by their relations and friends who testified against them for believing in this “strange doctrine.” Those who are now truly disciples of Christ will undergo persecution as Christ did. Why is this? It is because true disciples of Christ have the same mind as Christ; and Christ’s thinking is very different from the world’s. No matter what generation we find ourselves in, as long as we believe in the truth that Christ taught and lived by it, we will come across people who will dislike us or even hate us simply for thinking differently from them.

If we have never experienced persecution, maybe we are not truly disciples of Christ. Maybe we should also start to think whether we seriously want to be disciples of Christ or not. Sometimes, we are afraid to speak in Christ’s name when we see a relative or a friend act contrary to God’s teachings for fear that we may lose his or her affection. How many times have we decided to do something because we were afraid of what others would think? Many married men for instance cannot say no to their friends when invited for regular drinking sessions and other escapades for fear of being laughed at. Many youth nowadays engage in premarital sex because they are afraid to be rejected by their partner if they refuse to do it. Let us not be afraid to speak and act in the name of Christ. We may lose face, the esteem of our friends and even be insulted for doing so but we will gain the life that comes from Christ, which is the true life, an inner life that lasts and brings about real joy.