My dear fellow Somali Christians: I myself am not a Somali as you can probably tell by my accent; but the Lord has put a love in my heart for Somalis that cannot die because the love of God can never die. God’s love is enduring; God’s love last’s forever.
The Bible says:
“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” – Lamentation 3:22-23.
God loves us with a love that will never die; but as Christians it is very helpful to understand that following Jesus means that we will have to suffer from those who are not Christians. This is called persecution. Christians have been insulted, mocked, and treated badly for a long, long time. Suffering and trouble for Christians is nothing new. We are called to suffer just as Christ suffered. The more you live like Christ the more you will suffer like Christ.
Think of it this way. Just imagine that you are in Somalia and someone from a rival clan is sick or in need of food or in need of clothing. And you say to yourself I am going to go and help that person; I know they are from a different clan and someone from their clan killed someone from our clan; but this person is sick and I am going to help them; I am going to give them some food and water and clothing.
What do you think would happen if the elder from you clan saw you do that? They would be angry. They would probably tell you to leave that enemy clan person alone; they might even do something worse to that person because that person is from an enemy clan.
But let’s say that in your heart you felt a deep love for the injured clan person. And you thought to yourself it is not right to leave a human being alone to suffer; I am going to help them. If you did go and help the injured person your clan would be mad at you and if you really did go and help someone from a enemy clan you would be in trouble from your own clan.
Following Jesus means that you are joining what other people see as an enemy clan – even thought following Jesus is the best thing you could ever do for yourself. People who have not experienced the forgiveness of their sins by the blood of Jesus Christ do not understand the wonderful love that He has for us; other people do not understand the glorious eternal life that we have received from Jesus. They think you are different; they think you are following the devil; they are angry with you; they will do what they can to stop you from following Jesus.
In the Bible it says:
“Dear friends, don’t be surprised at the fiery trials you are going through, as if something strange were happening to you. Instead, be very glad—for these trials make you partners with Christ in his suffering, so that you will have the wonderful joy of seeing his glory when it is revealed to all the world.
If you are insulted because you bear the name of Christ, you will be blessed, for the glorious Spirit of God rests upon you. If you suffer, however, it must not be for murder, stealing, making trouble, or prying into other people’s affairs. But it is no shame to suffer for being a Christian. Praise God for the privilege of being called by his name! For the time has come for judgment, and it must begin with God’s household.
And if judgment begins with us, what terrible fate awaits those who have never obeyed God’s Good News? And also, “If the righteous are barely saved, what will happen to godless sinners?” So if you are suffering in a manner that pleases God, keep on doing what is right, and trust your lives to the God who created you, for he will never fail you.”
In another place it says:
“Think back on those early days when you first learned about Christ. Remember how you remained faithful even though it meant terrible suffering. Sometimes you were exposed to public ridicule and were beaten, and sometimes you helped others who were suffering the same things. You suffered along with those who were thrown into jail, and when all you owned was taken from you, you accepted it with joy. You knew there were better things waiting for you that will last forever.
So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that he has promised.”
Following Jesus means that you will follow His footsteps along the path of suffering; there is not escaping it unless you choose to hide your faith and live like the world wants to live; if you do everything the world likes to do then you will be just like the people of the world and you will not suffer. But if you follow Jesus then you will suffer
Our love for Jesus and our obedience to Him should be driven and motivated by a desire to show others the way to the cross. If we hide our faith how will others know about the Lord Jesus Christ? If we choose to suffer with Jesus then we are truly His disciples. So don’t be surprised that you are getting in trouble from other for following Jesus – this is normal for you. Think of your suffering as a sign of love to the Master and Lord Jesus Christ who bought you with His own blood; who saved you from your sins and gave you eternal life. If you love Jesus then you will be willing to suffer for him.