I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.
Hate is a strong word which we use freely when we are young, but as we age we hopefully use it less frequently. I remember as a boy ‘hating’ the weekend routine of getting ready for school on Sunday nights, bath, nit comb and cod liver oil, but on reflection they weren’t that bad really. Hate of certain people, based on nationality, religion and even football team supported was encouraged, but in time I realised that this was poisonous to my soul. In the 21st Century world hate is very much alive based on race, politics and gender. One hate is growing more widespread today; the hate of Christianity, and those who practice it.
Today’s verse shows us this specific hatred has been around since the time of Christ our Lord; the world hated Him and hated those who followed Him, and they still do today. A primary reason for the world’s hatred is that as we follow Christ our lives in contrast shine a light on their dark sinful ways, exposing their evil. The Word of God is our Guidebook of Life, which holds much uncomfortable reading for sinners in the world – they hate that too. This is illustrated as more Christians are targeted in the West for standing up for their faith and the Word of God, and even taken to court.
Dear reader, under Satan’s hand hatred and persecutions are going to increase in coming years. I encourage you to be in much prayer and reading of His Word, to strengthen yourself each day for the trials now and those to come. Do not despair or bend under the hatred that Satan applies, for:
You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.
1 John 4:4