Taking One for the Lord
Verse 10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Today we reach the end of the list of the beatitudes that Jesus gave us as eternal resolutions. This beatitude is one of the hardest for us to accept and act upon and yet it is becoming increasingly necessary.
First we must remember that this isn’t about all sorts of persecution, this is speaking directly about the suffering that comes our way because of our following Jesus and His ways. This persecution is not something that many of us have endured in the past, though many Christians over the centuries have dealt with these mistreatments. Jesus said it would happen, not a matter of if but of when. In talking to His eleven disciples (Judas had already been sent to do his evil deed) Jesus said, “If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you.”
Jesus knew what was coming for Himself and knew what would come for His followers. They would see death, torture, loss and pain all because they followed Him. We may not suffer in the same ways they did but there will be times that we will suffer for saying we are Christians. It may come in the way of not getting the job promotion that we thought we had in the bag, or maybe it is the failing grade we are given because we wrote our paper from a Christian worldview, either way it will seem unfair that we don’t get the same kind treatment those of the world get.
No matter how it is we are treated because of our association with Him, we are to accept it in the way that He would. Jesus said that we would be blessed when we are persecuted for His sake. He continued to say how blessed we would be when they say all kinds of evil about us. Furthermore we are to be happy about it. Yes, you read that right, we are to take joy in it. Of course, this isn’t to say that we will be happy about it. We have reason to rejoice because we won’t be persecuted for Him if we are living the life of His enemy, only if we are reflecting Him. We can know we belong to the Kingdom if we are being persecuted for living for Him and knowing that helps us know what it means to be blessed.
Making It Personal
Have you ever been persecuted for being a Christian? Are you living in a way that would warrant being persecuted? In what ways could you be able to show that you rejoice in the midst of persecution?
Making It Personal Kids
Have you ever had someone make fun of you because you love Jesus? Have you ever made fun of someone because they love Jesus? Does knowing people will keep making fun of you because of Jesus, make you want to stop loving Jesus?
Father, thank You for allowing us to suffer for Your name. Give us the wisdom and love for You that will allow us to willing to suffer whatever comes our way from the enemy. In Jesus’ name, amen.