"You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the One who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world." -1 John 4:4
There is growing discontentment in America with Christianity today. Many see the Christian faith as judgmental, hypocritical, insensitive, and domineering, best cited in David Kinnaman and Gabe Lyon's book UnChristian. Perhaps this has a lot to do with our less-than-perfect track record in the Christian faith and our lack of authenticity. If we are not growing in authentic love, we will tend to grow in religious rituals, false beliefs, or animosity.
If you've ever encountered a person who has outright rejected Jesus because of offenses or hurts you will know how powerful those emotions can be. Even still, we are called to be the salt and light in the world, preserving people until they can be open to receiving the love of Christ, and shining light on the dark places where negativity can dwell. (Matthew 5:13-16) We are called to bless the world. (Luke 6:28) We are called to be full of hope. (Psalm 25:3) Light disperses darkness; it kills "bacteria" growing in dark places. Our love and our hope in love must be more powerful than the darkness. Not our religion - our love, through Jesus. Hope does not dwell in religion - it lives with the One who is love.
When we encounter people who seem to hate the idea of Jesus, (more often it's the idea of Christians), it can be easy to shrink back in fear. But God has not called us to live in fear. God has called us to live in His presence. He has called us to live in His truth. Most of all He has called us to live in His love. God's love is the only thing that truly changes people. As the darkness gets darker, so Christ's light in us can shine brighter.
Are you secure in your faith in God? Be sure to arm yourself with the power of His presence and the light of His word, (Psalm 119:105) so that His love may be revealed in your life. He truly is greater and mightier than anything we will encounter on this earth. We just have to believe it, and walk in it.
"For God, who said, 'Let light shine out of darkness,' made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God's glory displayed in the face of Christ. -2 Corinthians 4:6