Have you heard this saying in church settings ‘they don’t hate you, but Christ in you?’ I have heard it many times myself and it used to confuse rather than comfort me. All those times that I felt unfairly treated or antagonised about my faith, this sentence was given as an explanation.
But when you read John 15:18 Jesus explaining to his disciples how the world hated him first and how we should not be surprised if we have enemies we get a deeper understanding of the saying.
If we look further here we notice how Jesus saw and treated his enemies, which was not like enemies at all. He was aware of their hate but responded with grace and mercy in return. I think that’s the best way to handle adversaries.
When we are persecuted, hunted, bullied or made to suffer for our faith, let us remember Jesus and his suffering. The idea that we are together in joys and suffering should comfort us and make us face the world with new strengths.