July 20, 2020
-Adapted from Greg Laurie (Harvest.org)
Matthew 5:10 “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
As Christians, we lay claim to God’s promises of provision and protection. But when is the last time we claimed His promise of persecution?
We wouldn’t do that, of course. After all, who wants to suffer from persecution?
Yet Jesus said in the Beatitudes, “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. (Matthew 5:10 KJV).
In fact, Jesus elaborated on this statement. He said, “Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.” (Verses 11-12)
The Bible tells us that “all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” (2 Timothy 3:12 KJV).
Or to reverse that, if you’re not suffering persecution, then are you living godly in Christ Jesus?
Persecution shows itself in many ways. It can be physical, obviously. It’s very dangerous for Christians in some countries today. In fact, Christians are the world’s most persecuted group.
Many of our brothers and sisters in Christ live at risk the moment they declare their faith in Jesus Christ. They’re tortured and put to death. Or, their families ostracize them and declare them dead.
Even in the United States, persecution against followers of Jesus Christ seems to be on the rise. If you decide to be a Christian, you can lose friends, jobs, and other things. People may ridicule, marginalize, mock, or even threaten you.
But if no one ever persecutes you, harasses you, mocks you, or challenges you, then maybe you’re not living as a child of God. However, if you’re living your life as you ought to and you’re getting pushback, it’s confirmation that you belong to Him.