“Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. Matthew 5:11-12 (NIV)
Rejoice And Be Glad
That hardly seems like something to rejoice about. What’s that? Am I really supposed to rejoice and be glad because people insult or persecute or say and do all kinds of evil against me because I am one of your followers? You are missing the point. What is the point? You are one of my followers. You will be insulted, persecuted and have evil said and done to you because you are one of my followers. That part I do understand. That part will not take me by surprise when it happens. But the point is that your mistreatment will only serve to remind you of a few things. What things? First, that you are one of my followers. We have already discussed that. Secondly, that you are experiencing what I also experienced. I was insulted and persecuted. I had all manner of evil said and done against me. I suffered as I went and did what my Father in heaven asked of me. You will suffer as you go and do what I ask of you. Does that encourage you? Does that lift you up? Does that spur you on? Can you have joy in knowing that you are living the life I lived, by following my example? Yes, I can. Yes, I do. Yes, I am. That is very good. But there is more. What else is there? This life is not all there is. I will tell you that. I get that. When you experience insults and persecution and evil on my behalf you will only be reminded that you have a better life awaiting you. You have heaven to look forward to. You have heavenly rewards awaiting you. You have all eternity with me before you. Remembering heaven and looking forward to the eternal life you have in me should cause you to rejoice and be glad no matter how much pain and suffering and rejection you go through in this life. Yes, in knowing that, I can and will rejoice and be glad. In knowing that, I will be filled with peace and joy and hope as I go through every difficult trial in life. I will keep my heart and mind and life focused on you. I will continually remember that all eternity and heavenly rewards await me when I come to live forever with you. That is true. That is every good. Thank you, Lord.
Lord, my heart and mind and life are focused on you. I am relying on you to strengthen and protect me against evil in this world. I will rejoice and be glad even as evil is done against me, on your behalf, because I know that my future in heaven with you is secure. Amen
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