Key Scripture: Matthew 5:11-12 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
Scripture Reading: Matthew 5:11-12; Hebrews 11:32-38
Jesus has spent time going through various ways that life is different in the Kingdom of God than in the world. As you have read over the past two days, His last promise is that we are blessed when others persecute us. Today we meditate on why we should rejoice in persecution. Jesus says that when we are persecuted we are placed in the category of people who all have suffered for the glory of God Almighty. This is a small and privileged community. When we suffer abuse for the name of Jesus we join the ranks of people like Jeremiah who was put in the bottom of a pit, or Stephen the first martyr for Jesus.
The author of Hebrews recounts other occurrences like these in chapter 11. In v. 38, he makes a small yet powerful side comment saying, “The world was not worthy of them.” Those who endured mistreatment for the gospel were far too precious to be treated so scornfully. The world didn’t know what a jewel they had in those prophets and apostles. Likewise, Jesus says we join in this community when we bear the same reproach. So stay humble, but take joy knowing that you are walking the same road and will receive the same reward as these other faithful servants. Hebrews says later in chapter 13, “Therefore let us go to him outside the camp and bear the reproach he endured. For here we have no lasting city, but we seek the city that is to come.”
Questions to Consider:
What price have you had to pay for your faith? Have you ever avoided paying a price for your faith? Does it help you stand strong knowing about those who have gone before you?
Pray that the Holy Spirit would give you the courage to be strong when faced with opposition to the gospel. Pray that you can release any attachments to the things of this world so that there are no obstacles to your obedience to God.