Aphorism # 8 – Persecuted

Since day one with Cain and Able there has been a fight between good and evil. As seen by the example of Cain and many like him that followed, evil has always hated the good. Evil has always wanted to get rid of good. We see it in our world today. So much violence, hatred, disrespect toward all that is good and righteous in this life. More and more the sinful nature of this world is trying to rise above godliness and blacken  it out. This brings us to Jesus’ 8th statement of truth found in Matthew 5:10.

Jesus said, “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven.” This goes against our natural instinct doesn’t it? We are wired to protect and preserve ourselves. We don’t want to risk harm. We want to provide ease and comfort to ourselves. So our natural tendency is not to do anything that would cause any kind of harm to be brought upon us. But Jesus tells us that if we are going to be in His kingdom, if we are going to have eternal life then we will stand up for what is right and holy in God’s eyes regardless of what the world thinks or what harm it will bring to us.

Jesus went on to say in 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.”

We live in a sinful world. There are a lot of people around us that are still living in sin. They don’t understand why Christians live the way they do. They don’t understand why we follow God’s standard of what is right and wrong. And they will let us know that they don’t like it. It could be our friends or family. It could be our neighbors or coworkers. They might make fun of us because we don’t cuss and laugh at dirty jokes. They think we’re wimps if we don’t. Many will not understand why we don’t have sex before marriage. They will not like that we condemn those things because God condemns those things. Friends may make fun of us for not getting drunk with them and having a good time. Maybe it has to do with drugs which we refuse to do. Maybe some will hate us or reject us because they think that we think we are better than them. There are many things that the world can say and do to us. But Jesus tells us that we are to rejoice in this. We are to rejoice because we know that no matter what the world may do to us we have a home with God in Heaven. God loves us. Jesus has saved us. And that is far greater than anything the world can do. When we are persecuted by the world then we know we are doing something right. The reward of being with God for eternity will be worth all the name calling and violence done toward us. If that is our goal, if our hearts are on God, then nothing will be able to make us stop living in righteousness.

Blessed are the persecuted. There is no doubt that we will be persecuted. It is not a matter of “if” but rather “when.” Persecution will come in all shapes and sizes. But we need to stand strong. Names will hurt. Rejection will hurt. Violence will hurt. But Heaven will be worth it all. Don’t let this world drag you down. Don’t let anyone put out your light. When in doubt or fear, remember the persecution and suffering that Jesus went through to save us. Look to the cross. Take up your cross and daily follow Jesus. Don’t give up. Don’t give in. Never back down. Rejoice in persecution knowing that you are honoring and praising God in your heart. Be blessed. Stay faithful. Trust in God. Lean on God. Fight the good fight of faith. God wins. And if we are on His side we will win too.

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