Rejoice and be glad

“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

It is the highest honor to suffer for the name of Jesus.  There are many believers around the world who are being persecuted on a daily basis.  When we are persecuted it can be a very difficult experience, but no matter what we face upon the earth we can know in our hearts that the Lord will strengthen us for all things and that His grace is sufficient.

Many times in Western Christianity we have a distorted view of what true Christianity is all about.  We come to believe and are often lied to by false teachers that tell us it is all about health and wealth.  I am not denying that the Lord desires to bless us, but the truth is that the road to maturity is marked with suffering.  Persecution is part of God’s program of bringing us to a deeper place with Him.

There is no greater testament on the earth then a life that suffers for the name of Jesus and holds fast to their faith in God and His word.  Some of the greatest people who will be honored in God’s kingdom will be those who were little known upon the earth but who diligently sought the Lord no matter what they faced.  Let us not fear what stands before us but know that the Lord goes before us and orders every step.

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