Persecution and Blessing?

Matthew 5:10

Do you usually associate persecution with blessing? Jesus did. “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness” (Matthew 5:10). I don’t know how this strikes you, but it seems misplaced at first glance. Especially on the heels of what we have learned about being “peacemakers.” But it is not misplaced.

Realistically, wrong treatment often comes upon those who do what is right. We who genuinely desire to serve others soon discover that being mistreated isn’t the exception. It’s the rule! Christ knew that was so. Read His words carefully.

“Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Matthew 5:10–12)

Did you notice something? Not “if” men revile you . . . but “when” they revile you. And not only will they revile you, they will persecute you and say all kinds of evil against you—lies and slanderous accusations. Clearly, Jesus is speaking of being viciously mistreated. It’s tough to bear! But the Savior says you will be “blessed” when you endure it—promising a great reward for your patient, mature endurance.

There are times when the only way servants can make it through such severe times without becoming bitter is by focusing on the ultimate rewards that are promised. Jesus even says we are to “rejoice and be glad” as we think on the great rewards He will give to us in heaven.

How do you endure wrong treatment without becoming bitter? Focus on the ultimate rewards you’re promised.

Charles R. Swindoll Tweet This

Taken from Improving Your Serve by Charles R. Swindoll. Copyright © 1981 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson.

Posted in Christian Living, Jesus and tagged .

Accuracy, clarity, and practicality all describe the Bible-teaching ministry of Charles R. Swindoll. Chuck is the chairman of the board at Insight for Living and the chancellor of Dallas Theological Seminary. Chuck also serves as the senior pastor of Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas, where he is able to do what he loves most—teach the Bible to willing hearts. His focus on practical Bible application has been heard on the Insight for Living radio broadcast since 1979.