JOY AND PERSECUTION

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“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 KJV

The Bible’s response to persecution is crazy to the natural man. How can one jump for joy when reviled and persecuted?

Yet, the Apostles did this without hesitation. 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 crazy?

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 KJV

Even James had to demonstrate Himself when he was persecuted and killed for his faith.

Do you know that God takes it personally the persecution of a preacher of the gospel? 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.

Many times, it is the man who really does the work of God that gets persecuted. So, this is enough reason to rejoice and count it all joy. Don’t shy away from persecution.

DO THIS: Pray for believers all around the world being persecuted for their faith. Pray that they are delivered from wicked and unreasonable men. Pray also that they have boldness to declare their faith yet more.

Bible Reading Plan:
Luke 16:19-31, 2 Timothy 1:1-7, Proverbs 10:17-32, Nehemiah 4-5

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