Blessed are they that are persecuted for righteousness’ sake; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. – Matthew 5:10.
True Christians, God's children, are righteous, upright, and honest in all their dealings, and they avoid and reprove all unrighteousness and dishonesty. For this reason they are an eyesore to the children of the world, who feel a sting in their conscience when they see them. And the world persecutes them, and refuses to tolerate them, and harms them. But they are blessed, for the Kingdom of Heaven, the blessed kingdom of the eternal God, is theirs.
But who in this world is hated and reviled most of all Jesus Christ. And what is hated and reviled more than anything else? The Word of Jesus. True Christians, God's children, stand by their beloved Savior, and they profess and proclaim and defend His Word, and follow Him in all things. And so the hatred and reproach which meets Jesus and His Word is turned against them. Men revile and persecute them and say all manner of evil against them. Ah, let them but see to it that there is not a grain of truth in all the evil things that are said about them. Then they may rejoice and be exceeding glad; for just so were the Prophets and the Apostles persecuted, the men who foretold the coming of Christ and witnessed of Him. Blessed are the Christians in such persecution. For then it is evident that the Spirit of Christ rests upon them, and manifests Himself through them, that Spirit whom the Christless world and also the false church cannot bear. And in heaven, which to them is no far-off dream, but a reality near at hand, they shall find abundant solace and reward for every contempt and persecution they had to suffer here on earth. (Matthew 5:11-12.)
PRAYER. – Lord Jesus, my only Salvation, help me to take my stand with You firmly, freely, and frankly, and to profess Your Word, and to let it guide me into all righteousness in this world of unrighteousness, where You and Your Word are hated so bitterly. And if I suffer contempt and persecution on account of it, then give me courage and the solace of Your Holy Spirit, that with great rejoicing I may wait for heaven, where my home is and the eternal rest awaiting me. Amen.
Pastor John Eich