When was the last time you were persecuted? Was that persecution just or unjust? Were you persecuted for "righteousness sake" or because of "Jesus" name? or was it for some wrong you committed? In our study today, we"re going to see that there is a price that we will pay for following Jesus Christ and the attitude that we adopt will allow us to experience the blessedness that Jesus refers to in Matthew 5:10-12.
Many of us have been persecuted because of our faith in Jesus Christ. Some of us have been mistreated because we live differently than others. But when it happens how do you react? Do you return "evil for evil or good for evil?"
Jesus said in John 16:33 that we would experience persecution. He said, "In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world."
He also said we would experience it because He did. In John 15:20 He said, "Remember the word that I said to you, "A servant is not greater than his master." If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also.""
Since the world did not receive Jesus" message, neither will they receive yours. If we can keep that in mind, that will help us when we are persecuted.
That are many verses that talk about persecution but this week we will focus on three that are found in Matthew 5:10-12.
This section commonly known as the Beattitudes is a message that Jesus gave to His disciples and the crowd that gathered to hear Him. Verses 10-12 is the climax of the Beattitudes that specifically addresses how the world will react to your faith in Jesus Christ.
Jesus says, "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness" sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you."
These three verses give 2 responses to persecution: Yours and God"s. Jesus says, when you are persecuted you are doubly "blessed" therefore, "rejoice."
Rejoicing through any difficulty in our life is only possible when we trust Him. Trust in ourselves or our resources will never deliver or sustain us. Jesus said when you are persecuted for righteousness" sake and when they say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake, rejoice and be exceedingly glad.
To rejoice means you have totally abandoned every resource available to you. It means you have humbled yourself under the trial and have welcomed God"s purpose in your life.
The next time you are tempted to retaliate because of persecution, remember Jesus" words, and turn all your trust to Him. If he said to rejoice, that means He will enable you to do that no matter what you face.