Scripture Passage: Matthew 5:10-14
If we stand up for Jesus, we will be persecuted. The only way to escape it is to compromise—to conform to this world. Instead, we must decide now that we will learn to stand for Jesus, no matter what happens.
Matthew 5:10 reveals, “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
Adrian Rogers says, “Persecution that you receive is the thermometer that registers your love and your courage for the Lord Jesus Christ.”
Persecution means to divide; Christians are persecuted because we are different, distinct by our righteousness.
Jesus was crucified because of false witnesses; likewise, Christians will be blamed for things they have not done.
Jesus says, “for my sake.” (See Matthew 5:11.) The world hates Jesus Christ because He stands against the very things the world stands for: liquor, abortion, pornography, pride, racism, hatred, and selfishness.
Jesus was an exposer of sin; He came to condemn sin and destroy the works of the devil. And as followers of Christ, whom He has called salt and light (irritants and exposers), we can expect to endure personal insult and physical intimidation. There will be social injustice coming from all sides: from the religious world, from the government, and even from our own families.
But we can enlist our persecution for the glory of God. Because we are children of the King, we reign in life and can return good for evil.
We must also rejoice in the Lord; we have been identified as followers of Christ, and associated with the Lord... what an honor!
Finally, we should respond in love. We could be great witnesses if we respond to the hate of this world with the love it desperately needs.
These are days of golden opportunity to stand up and share Christ with others; let us not waste them by living in fear of persecution.
Knowing the reasons for persecution and the results of it, what is your response? Are you willing to follow Jesus in a world that hates Him? When you are persecuted, rejoice in the Lord and respond in love.