“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.”
This passage that persecution is a part of the Christian way of life. If anything, the rejection from the world is a reminder that we don’t belong here. In John 17:14 it says “I have given them your word and the world has hated them, for they are not of the world any more than I am of the world.” I can finally see why Jesus says to rejoice and be glad in this moment. It is not only because we receive great rewards in heaven but it shows that we are truly children of God. We get an opportunity to participate with the prophets of old in this journey of preaching God’s word to the world.
When I face persecution am I downcast or rejoicing? What does my response to trials and tribulations say about the position of my heart? Is it fixated on my opportunity to shine through as a child of God or more concerned on the pain I am going through? When facing pain and suffering – what a glorious opportunity to let God shine on through by keeping steadfast my faith to show the world that my God is better.
God I pray you give me the words through the Holy Spirit when I need them. Give me the courage when going through pain and remind that this is an exercise of my faith and opportunity to participate in a demonstration of Your love for the world.