Monday, July 28, 2014

The Persecuted Will Be Rewarded!

Matthew 5:10-12 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Matthew 5:10-12 You’re blessed when you’re commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom. Not only that – count yourselves blessed every time people put you down or throw you out or speak lies about you to discredit me. What it means is that the truth is too close for comfort and they are uncomfortable. You can be glad when that happens-give a cheer even!-for though they don’t like it, I do! And all heaven applauds. And know that you are in good company. My prophets and witnesses have always gotten into this kind of trouble. - The Message

Luke 6:22-23 Blessed are you when men hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil because of the Son of Man.  Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven.

Rejoice in persecution? Jump for joy? These scriptures don’t sound like a promise, nor do they sound “blissful” (blessed means blissful) – but they are. The truth is we can’t “enjoy” persecution unless we know Christ, are filled with his Spirit and committed to him. When we’re persecuted for righteousness sake we have joined Christ in the battle against Satan. He is with us giving us strength, perseverance and joy!

Persecution and martyrdom is happening to Christians around the world. Barclay writing about the early Christians says that the persecution of Christians occurred because “the difference in their lives was a daily rebuke to many pagans.” He also says, “Persecution only comes to the man whose life is so positive and real in its effectiveness that society regards him as a danger.” A Christian who is willing to compromise, or who is uncommitted, whose faith is shallow won’t be persecuted.
This passage of scripture is difficult. The thought of being persecuted is upsetting. We must lean on You. Help our lives be so true to you that we rejoice in times of trouble. Help us commit our lives totally to you. It would be an honor to be persecuted because of Your righteousness in us, because Christ lives in you and me. Help us depend on You and your Holy Spirit in the midst of trials of any kind. Your joy is our strength!
In Christ, Dottie

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