“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”
(Mat 5:11 -12).
The bible response to the challenges around us is crazy to the natural man. What are we to do when we are reviled and persecuted? We are to rejoice; as in literally jump for joy! The Apostles took this literally because they were meant to. When they were beaten for preaching the gospel in Acts 5, the bible says they departed from the council ‘rejoicing’ that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name (Acts 5:40-41). Isn’t that interesting?
James also wrote about this saying: “My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations; Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing” (James 1: 2-4). This was one statement he had to prove himself when he was persecuted and killed for his faith as well.
God takes it personal when a preacher of the gospel is persecuted for truly and faithfully preaching his message. The way He sees it, it isn’t the preacher who is being resisted but He Himself. This is why Jesus, when He appeared to Saul said: “Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?” (Acts 9: 4).
It won’t always be easy to remember this, but we must see persecution for what it is- a privilege, and one with great rewards. A man who gets persecuted for Christ is to be envied, for great is his reward in heaven.
Once again, pray for Christians all around the world being persecuted for their faith. Pray that they be delivered from wicked and unreasonable men. And that they receive boldness to declare their faith yet more.