John 17:14-16 NLT, "I have given them your word. And the world hates them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. I'm not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one. They do not belong to this world any more than I do."
In John 17:1b. NLT, Jesus started His prayer by saying, "Father, the hour has come. Glorify your Son so he can give glory back to you."
Jesus knew that He was about to go be with His Father again. The hour had come. Before He left this world to go be with His Father, though, He prayed for the ones His Father had given Him... His children.
After walking in our shoes, Jesus knew just how much the world hated those who were following God. They hate us because we don't belong to the world. Jesus was well aware of this. He says in John 15:18 NLT, "If the world hates you, remember that it hated me first."
Sometimes it can feel as if we're a fish out of water.
People around us don't understand why we choose the things we do. They can't comprehend why we would forgive someone who has hurt us. It doesn't make sense to them why we have convictions about what we find appropriate on television. They question why we'd desire to tithe when that's "money we've worked for".
Living in a world that's not our home can be very uncomfortable, just as I'm sure it is uncomfortable for a fish that's out of water since water is a fish's home.
Heaven is our home, but God has us here on earth right now for a purpose.
He included in His prayer that He wasn't asking that we'd be taken out of the world but rather that God would keep us safe from the evil one.
For such a time as this, we must be here instead of in heaven. God has a reason for us being here. We are to be lights in a dark and lost world. The world needs to see Jesus. Without Him, there is no peace, and there is no hope.
You say, "That sounds great, but how am I supposed to survive in a place that's not my home?"
Philippians 4:13 NLT has the answer: "For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength."
Jesus hasn't left us out there on our own to sink or swim. He sent us the Holy Spirit to live in us. Because of the Holy Spirit living in us, we can do all things through Christ. He is our strength.
One final encouragement is this: John 16:33 NLT, "I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world."
Dear Heavenly Father,
Living in a world that's not my home can sometimes make me feel like a fish out of water. You are very clear in Your Word that this world is not our home any more than it is Yours. For now, this is where You've placed us, and You have a purpose for our lives. I pray You help us to live in this world while not being of the world. In Jesus' Name.
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