For in Scripture it says: “See, I lay a stone in Zion, a chosen and precious cornerstone, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” Now to you who believe, this stone is precious. But to those who do not believe, “The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone,” and, “A stone that causes people to stumble and a rock that makes them fall.” They stumble because they disobey the message—which is also what they were destined for. 1 Peter 2:6-8 (NIV).
Remember that part from yesterday about me and you being stones, and how stones can be broken or crushed? Yeah, it’s true. And it may be why Christ selected you, specifically, to follow Him.
We aren’t supposed to be jerks about our faith. Sharing it with someone should be a bold thing but NOT bold to the point of hurting someone else. Share boldly but temper boldness in sensitivity. And if confronted, be ready to answer why you believe what you do. Yet when someone complains you’re infringing on them, yes, respectfully consider your options. We must not be ashamed of what we believe, or lie about it, or let ourselves be silenced without standing. We also must practice our faith in healing, understanding and grace to others. We must not weaponize faith lightly.
…Because this is life or death. Because what we believe actually may crush someone. It may be a stumbling block they can’t get around. It may be an obstacle they can’t overcome without confronting it. Our faith may so convict other people that it may change everything about them. Jesus loves and wants them, too. We may be where we are for His reasons.
Or our faith may crush us. There are those who work to silence or persecute the faithful and will use any opportunity to do so; you know this. You may have even been subject to it. As with those who would be confronted by us, so it is that, before time, Jesus also willed it to be so that we would suffer for Him in faith. It’s not that He wants us to hurt: it’s that He wants us to be purified, refined in Him so that we may stand stronger. He wants this knowing that our praise of Him during our afflictions will spread His glory and Name far and wide. That more will know His love and believe. This has always been so. Where man persecutes the body of Christ, the body of Christ grows.
Sometimes the cost of that is paid in blood. It was paid in His blood first; mankind may also require ours. But glory is why Jesus selected you and me. Let there be more of it no matter what it takes.
For further reading: Deuteronomy 10:15, 1 Samuel 12:22 Psalm 118:22, Isaiah 28:16, Isaiah 62:12, Romans 9:22-23, 2 Corinthians 2:16, 1 Peter 2:9
All praise and glory to You, Lord Jesus, no matter my circumstances.