Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you – Matthew 5:11-12
When, as a Christian you’re effective in soul-winning, ministering faith, hope and love to others, you become an easy target for persecution. Not everyone will accept you. Nevertheless, remember, not everyone accepted Christ either. That’s why He said in Matthew 10:24-25, “The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord. It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?”
You shouldn’t be surprised when, after you’ve acted in love and shown kindness to some people, they turn against you and do terrible things to hurt you. It’s not right to get angry and say in regret: “After all I’ve done for them?” Remember that you did what you did in the Name of the Lord. If you did it in His Name, why do you care?
You might even think God would punish the other fellow for saying nasty things about you, but He won’t; He actually doesn’t want to punish him. The Bible says, “…it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish” (Matthew 18:14). Rather, He’s looking for someone that’ll intercede for him. Instead of thinking God will punish those who are unkind to you, pray for them (Matthew 5:44); that’s being a true minister of the Gospel.
Understand that the more committed you are to the things of God, the more His glory will be revealed in your life, and the more some people will hate and persecute you for it. When that happens, don’t respond angrily; rather, respond in love. 2 Timothy 3:12 says, “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.”
When you’re persecuted, always remember that you were sent, not in your own name, but in the Name of Jesus. Therefore, the Lord Himself shall be your defence, and reward.
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Dear Father, I thank you for the comfort of the Scriptures. The Holy Spirit strengthens me with might in my inner man, to be effective in the ministry of the Gospel of Christ, irrespective of the tests, trials, and persecutions that I may face. The love of Christ compels and controls my actions, in Jesus’ Name. Amen.
FURTHER STUDY: John 15:19; Matthew 10:22; John 16:33