Devotion, 9/30, 2020, Wednesday, blessed are you when insulted
“Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you (Matt. 5:11-12, NKJV).
Jesus is preparing His disciples for the future. What will happen to those who seek to be faithful to Jesus? Of course, as we have seen in other devotions, the faithful are richly blessed by God. Here Jesus gives us the other side of the coin. Sometimes the faithful are persecuted. Sometimes they are faced with lies. They are falsely accused of things they never did. Why? Because we live in a world where there is much hostility toward God, and especially towards the Son of God. Jesus was severely persecuted. All kinds of false accusations were made against Him. We know how the story ended for Him.
He tells us to rejoice and be exceedingly glad when this happens to us. Those who suffer from serving Jesus will be greatly rewarded in heaven. We are not told anything about the nature of these rewards. It is enough to know that God is watching, and when His children suffer for Him, they will be rewarded.
These words had special relevance for the first disciples. Many suffered greatly under the heavy hand of Rome. Many were martyred because of their faith. Most of us in the United States have not suffered severely as disciples of Jesus, and I am thankful. But, who knows what the future holds. Be prepared!
Father, I thank you that living as a Christian has not resulted in suffering and persecution. If the situation should change, help me to remain faithful no matter what. Thank You for promising to reward those who suffer for Your sake. I pray in the name of the One who suffered for me, even Jesus. Amen.