May 19 | Matthew 5:10-12

“Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is God’s kingdom. Blessed are you when they may insult you and persecute and and might say all kinds of evil against you, lying on your account. Rejoice and be glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for likewise they persecuted the prophets before you.” (Matthew 5:10–12)

Everyone wants to be part of the group. Even the ones who act like their antisocial still need friends. We don’t want to be on the outside looking in. People use peer pressure to make you conform. But that’s not always possible when you stand for Christ.

Jesus spoke a lot about persecution because he knew it would be coming your way. It may not be here yet, but it will not stay away forever. When it comes, you will look to Jesus. You will be blessed in your persecution. As you suffer for righteousness, putting yourself on the line for the right things, Jesus blesses you.

Jesus gives you the kingdom of God, inviting you to heaven, the ultimate eternal experience in his presence. People will soon be making fun of you, lying about you, and destroying your reputation because you know and stand up for Jesus.

That you belong to Jesus and your reward is in heaven with him. One of my mentors used to say, You can’t scare a Christian with heaven.” Even if you die in persecution you will be with Jesus immediately. They can’t take Jesus away from you.

Action Step: Prepare for persecution if you are not already experiencing it. Jesus walks with you and you need not be afraid. Jesus gives you strength to handle it.

Precious Jesus, give me the strength to endure the coming persecution. I know standing for you has consequences. Give me peace in the middle of persecution. You are my Defender and Fortress. I look to you when it comes. I will not back down.

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