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Thursday, March 16, 2017

Handling Persecution

In review of Matthew 5:10 it says, “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

Bottom Line:
Blessing will come from you being persecuted for doing right, for you’ll receive the kingdom of Heaven.

What this means to me:
God will bless me when I’m treated badly and persecuted for doing right, for I’ll receive the Kingdom of Heaven.

Today's verse comes from the first part of Matthew 5 in a section referred to as the "Beatitudes". In it Matthew quotes Jesus from his sermon on the mount. Jesus is telling the crowds the type of attitudes that God want us to take on. He tells us that there are blessings for those who are poor and realize their need for him, who mourn, who are humble, who hunger for justice, who are merciful, whose hearts are pure, who work for peace, and who are persecuted for doing right. Jesus tells us that God will bless you when people mock and persecute you, lie about you, and say all sorts of evil things against you because we follow him. When this persecution happens, we can be happy, for a great reward awaits us in heaven.

This verse reminds me that God will compensate me when people oppose me for doing right. He can bless me so that the situation that is used to intimidate me, I now master. I should not allow other’s opinions or cruelties to define me. Instead I should allow God’s promises to show me exactly who I am through His eyes.

The question is, am I ready for all this goodness? God won’t give me something great until I am desperate to have His very best. Can God trust me with His favor? Am I trying to do everything on my own, keeping God on a shelf for a special occasion?

Other people may often envy the demonstration of God’s favor in my life, so I shouldn’t be deterred by their criticism. Instead I can lift my head and square my shoulders. I can smile. This in of itself will make those who oppose me crazy.

I can clap my hands and shout for joy. I am favored by the living God, and the Kingdom of heaven is mine.