Persecution & Favor
Matthew 5:11-12 (TPT) “How ecstatic you can be when people insult and persecute you and speak all kinds of cruel lies about you because of your love for me! So leap for joy—since your heavenly reward is great. For you are being rejected the same way the prophets were before you."
Really? This couldn't possibly be out of the Holy Bible, right? In Matthew 5 we read about Jesus teaching people on the mountain and He tells them blessed are the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers, then blessed are you when you are persecuted. This isn't really what I want to hear if I'm being honest. I would prefer to hear just how much I am loved by God and how wonderful His plan is for me and let's leave out the disappointing news, eh?
Unfortunately this is the reality - there are many pain points when we are following Christ. Is it worth it? Absolutely! Living with peace, knowing that if something were to take me out tomorrow I would be in Heaven where there is absolutely no pain or sorrow, is totally worth it. We are promised trials and tribulations but we are also promised an abundant life, one that is full of joy. Reread the verses above… it says even in the hard times when others are lying about you, rejoice! When you grow closer to God you realize that He is for you and no matter who is against you, He is always greater! He is with you during every struggle you face and He will be your strength in your weaknesses. We need to become a body of believers who are unoffendable - who could care less what fiery darts are being thrown at us because none will penetrate our souls. We are children of the King and we are highly favored, let's begin to worship Him for His faithfulness and remain in awe of His wonder. There is no one more worthy than our God!
Luke 1:28 (VOICE) Greetings! You are favored, and the Lord is with you! [Among all women on the earth, you have been blessed.]
Psalm 22:3 (VOICE) Still, You are holy; You make Your home on the praises of Israel.