“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you…. because ofme.” – Jesus. Matthew 5:11
- - harass or annoy (someone) persistently
- - subject (someone) to hostility and ill-treatment, especially because of their race or political or religious beliefs.
One of the first and most important lessons I learnt about being a Christian was that I could expect persecution, but persecution as a blessing.
As I wrote in a previous post, when I first believed in Jesus I was quick to share about my faith with a guy that I worked with, who turned around and told my other work mates who then all made fun of me and laughed and pointed out all the things still wrong with me.
Boy, here I am sharing the best news that I have ever heard and I am getting put down and insulted and pretty much told that I am still a sinner! I was really thrown. Why was God allowing this to happen to me? Why isn’t He showing them Jesus the same way he had shown me? I was forgetting, of course, I used to do the same thing to Christians and had taken 20 years for me to realize the truth of Jesus.
So with my ego bruised and hurt, I called my brother to ask if he could shed some light on the situation. He told me one of the most important things I would ever hear. He told me, to affect, this scripture;
11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.”
How boy!! What? Blessed when people do these things? You’re crazy! That’s crazy! He told me
“when people persecute you and insult you, you are preaching the gospel effectively, it’s proof that God is with you.”
Here I am barely a few months in Jesus and I am preaching the gospel effectively? For some reason, those words that my brother spoke to me gave me strength and filled me with joy. It rang so true to this scripture;
“Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,” – Jesus (Matthew 5:10). I went back to work with a massive smile and faced my work mates with confidence.
But it’s not all doom and gloom! There are 2 sides to this coin.
“In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:12)
“If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also.” – Jesus. (John 15:20)
What Jesus is saying here, is that if you are living a Godly life to further the Kingdom and sharing Jesus you will be persecuted by some but also calling those out who are marked to also believe in Jesus.
You can’t expect to see people believe in Jesus with out also expecting to see people give you a really hard time because of your righteousness in Jesus.
But this is an encouragement!! You're expressing your love for God and when you are experiencing a hard time, it’s because you’re doing it right! For some reason, that brings me joy. It has also brought me reward. I also keep going because of the promises God makes about being rejected and suffering because of our belief in Jesus.
“That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12:10)
“Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:10)
“Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them (from persecutions and suffering).” (2 timothy 3:11)
So don’t be afraid to share the truth about what Jesus has done for you and in your life with the same love you felt when you first met Him. God is with you backing you up!
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