“Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely says 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 5:10-12).
Persecution is a common theme in the Bible and is experienced when we pursue righteousness, a gift from the Almighty God that is “given through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe” (Romans 3:20). As we seek to live up to our calling by pursuing righteousness and living for God, we will encounter persecution, “[i]n fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted” (2 Timothy 3:12). If we are seeking to live for God, we will encounter opposition. It is possible that we are not encountering opposition because we are not seeking to live righteously. According to the preacher, Deacon Baron Muga, “If you are not in collision with the devil, you are probably in collusion with the devil”. How are we living? Are we pursuing a life of righteousness?
Shadrack, Meshach and Abednego declared to King Nebuchadnezzar, “If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God we serve is able to deliver us from it, and He will deliver us from Your Majesty’s hand. But even if He does not, we want you to know, Your Majesty, that we will not serve your gods or worship the image of gold you have set up” (Daniel 3:17-18). We need to have such faith, which will enable us stand up for Christ even under extremely difficult circumstances. Let our suffering and persecution be for a worthy cause, “but how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God” (1 Peter 2:20).
1. Are you pursuing righteousness? Are you living for God? Re-examine your life.
2.Write it down and/or talk to a trusted person in your life.
Dear LORD, I pray that I may endure persecution as I live for you.