Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:10 (NIV)
I want to be your witness in the world. I want the faith that I have in you to stand out from the darkness of this world. I want to shine brightly as a light in the world. I want others to be able to see and recognize that your life is being lived out in and through me. Those are all very good desires that you have within you. As you love and follow and serve me, you will shine brightly for me. I will powerfully use you as my witness in the world. Others will be drawn to me because my life is being lived out in and through you. The righteousness you have in me will boldly stand out in the darkness of this world. For that, I am thankful beyond words. I can think of nothing more that I want than to be used by you. That is very good.
What can you expect as the righteousness you have in me boldly and brightly stands out in the darkness of this world? I can expect to be verbally abused and mocked because of the faith I have in you. I can expect to be ostracized, treated harshly and even persecuted because I am your follower. I can expect to be slandered, cursed at and even lied about because I will be living the new life that you have called me to live. All of these things happened to you. I should not be surprised when any of these things happen to me. The darkness of this world does not like the light I have in you. The sinfulness of this world does not and cannot accept the righteousness I have in you. No, it does not. No, it cannot. Yes, my life will live in and through you. Yes, you will shine brightly for me in the darkness of this world. For that, you will be persecuted.
Will you be disappointed when you are rejected? Will you be discouraged when you are persecuted? Will you be depressed when you are mistreated? No, I will not, not for one minute, not even for one second. Why is that? I will know that your word is true. I will know that I have been forewarned. I will know that I am being treated as you were treated. I will know that it is your righteousness being lived out, in and through me that is being rejected. I will know that I am truly living the life that you have called me to live. The more light I have in you, the more the darkness of the world will come against me. In those moments, I know that you will be with me to help me. You will guard and guide me. You will lead me through the darkness of this world as I love, follow and serve you. Yes, I will. Thank you, Lord.
Lord, I am thankful for the new life I have in you. You have made me righteous. You have forgiven and cleansed my sins. You are using me as your witness in the darkness of this world. I joyfully anticipate that I will be persecuted because I am your follower. Amen
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