Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
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Blessed (happy, to be envied, and spiritually prosperous—
with life-joy and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation,
regardless of your outward conditions) are you when people revile you and persecute you
and say all kinds of evil things against you falsely on My account.
Matthew 5:11 AMP
Have you ever thought of persecution as a good thing? Something to take joy in, to rejoice over? Nope, not me. Yet this verse states we are blessed if we are mocked, reviled, defamed, cursed or falsely accused. Say What?!? How can persecution possibly be good?
Look at it this way: persecution forces us to focus on what we believe, why we believe it, and what, (or Whom), we are suffering for. Living a “Kingdom life” for Christ’s sake is a display of our discipleship. Our values and morals are at odds with the world. Those who persecute us hope to tarnish our witness. And, our tormentors may not be just unbelievers. According to David Guzik empty religion hates genuine faith and rejects true faith. So we may be persecuted by so-called “Christians” as well. But consider this…if we weren’t living a radical life for Christ, we would go unnoticed. Right?
1 Peter 4:14 puts it like this:
If you are censured and suffer abuse [because you bear] the name of Christ,
blessed [are you—happy, fortunate, to be envied, with life-joy,
and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of your outward condition],
because the Spirit of glory, the Spirit of God, is resting upon you.
We can suffer and be persecuted for Christ only because He first became human to suffer for us. He was persecuted so that our suffering, our persecution would not be meaningless. Our suffering for His sake is a prelude to glory and joy. We are blessed because of the reproach, the defamation. It shows we are following Jesus, that we are being identified with Him. And the best part? Through our persecution, Christ is glorified. Hallelujah! Can I get an amen?
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Lord, help us see persecution as a good thing, for it means we are following closely to You. Let our attitude through torment and trials bring glory and honor to You. Let us remain steadfast and remind us we can do ALL things through You, for in our weakness Your strength is perfected. In Jesus’ precious name, amen – so be it.