"We are mocked by our neighbors, an object of scorn and derision to those around us." Psalm 79:4 NLT
What is your response when, as a Christian, you become the object of mockery, scorn, and derision? My initial reaction usually is to become defensive, thinking I can change their opinion.
Examining Asaph's prayer convicts me and hopefully, prayerfully, will change my response. Asaph begins by acknowledging it is God the mockers oppose. In verse one, it is God's inheritance, temple, and city which are being desecrated. His people, Israel, are His inheritance. Verses 2-4 describes what is happening to God's people, and the next three verses are Asaph's plea for God to act against those who oppose Him and Israel.
When ridiculed as a believer, my thoughts and prayers track relatively close to the first seven verses with Asaph. Look at what they are saying about You, Lord, and how they are treating me. Do something. Show Yourself strong in correcting them. Prove they are in the wrong.
Asaph and I part ways in verses 8-9. Notice how Asaph introduces the sin of Israel. He acknowledges the need for forgiveness. I must confess, when I am feeling persecuted as a Christian, forgiveness for my sin and iniquity is usually not on my radar. The one oppressing me is in the wrong and needs forgiveness, not me!
The basis of Asaph's prayer is for God's name and His glory. It seems in the moment of persecution God's people are the recipients of opposition, but it is God Himself. Remember when Jesus confronted Paul on his way to Damascus, He didn't ask Saul why he was persecuting His followers, did He? Jesus said, "Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?"
Lord Jesus, God of our salvation, may we be like Peter and John after they were beaten and told never to speak Your name again. When we are the object of mockery, scorn, and derision because of claiming Your name, may we, too, rejoice that we were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for Your name.