“For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon.’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is proved right by all her children.” Luke 7:33-35
Meeting and knowing Jesus is to bring celebration into our lives. We did not accept Jesus into our lives just to be able to cope with misery. Instead, Christ brings us joy and abundant life. In Christ we have true freedom.
To live in this joy, we must not allow criticism from others to stop us from walking in our faith. The Pharisees in the passage above brought criticism to both John the Baptist and Jesus. John was called demon possessed, and Christ was called a glutton.
John the Baptist and Jesus, however, did not let this criticism interfere with their missions. It is important that we, too, do not allow criticism to stop us from living the faith that God has for us.
Faith is not God saving us from hurt, it is God granting us favor we don’t deserve to come out on the other side of that hurt. In our faith, we must persist even when persisting is hard. We must trust in God that our trials are for our benefit. When we are being criticized, made fun of, or insulted for our faith in God, we must keep walking in our faith.
Walking in our faith also helps us to grow. We cannot look to our church, family, or friends to solve our problems for us. When we persist in our faith and continue to walk in it, that is where the true joy of the Lord is found–even if things don’t always work out.
Even when doors aren’t opening and our lives are hard, we cannot stop following Christ. We must continue in our faith, always moving forward. We are not always going to get our way, but God is still a good God and a faithful provider. As long as we are continuing on, even if we are bleeding out, we can rejoice in the fact that God is sustaining us in our trials.
Because of our relationship with Jesus, we are stronger than the things that life is hitting us with because “Greater is he that is in you than he that is in the world” (1 John 4:4 KJV). Christ is in us, so we are strong, and obligated to be strong, in the Lord.
When life comes against you and the criticisms, hurt, and trials of this world show their teeth, say to yourself: “I am stronger.”