(Jesus said) "Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on My account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you." Matthew 5:11-12
Twenty-four-year-old Jennifer Keeton is trying to earn her master's degree in counseling at Augusta State University in Georgia.
The active word in that sentence is "trying."
You see, Keeton may not be allowed to get that degree. It seems her religious beliefs on human nature and conduct are incompatible with being a good counselor. In short, Keeton has a Christian view of human sexuality.
It appears the Christian view is not compatible with the school's view. This means that Augusta State University may expel Keeton from the program unless she undergoes a remedial program to straighten out her misconceptions.
Now understand it's Keeton who needs to be corrected, not those living a lifestyle unacceptable to Scripture.
Apparently, freedom is something that is a right for everyone -- except a young Christian student who wishes to be loyal to her beliefs in the Savior who gave His life to ransom ours.
I feel sorry for Keeton and all the other college kids who are under similar pressures. They are the ones Jesus was talking about when He said, "Blessed are you when others revile and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on My account."
Of course, Keeton probably doesn't feel blessed or much like rejoicing or even being glad.
Even so, that is what Jesus encourages His people to do. By the Holy Spirit's power, it is possible to have that kind of attitude. It is possible when we realize we are following a higher calling, a more lofty set of beliefs than that of the world.
We are following the Lord's will, not humankind's.
So, in this Daily Devotion, I encourage prayers to be lifted up for Jennifer Keeton and all of our students. May God grant them grace to endure under pressure.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, be with those young people who are trying to do what is right. Watch over them and allow them to remember they must obey the Lord rather than mankind. Bring them safely through their persecutions and grant them a life of purpose, a life which touches others by calling them, in Your Name, from darkness to light. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries