“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 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” (Matthew 5:10-12).
God’s commands sometimes defy human logic!
Rejoicing in persecution doesn’t make sense until we realize the effect of praise.
It keeps us focused on the Lord and the good things He brings out of hardship.
The apostle Paul faced greater abuse and suffering than most of us ever will.
He was beaten, put on trial, and imprisoned (Acts 16:20-24).
But he looked beyond these difficulties to what the Lord was accomplishing through his life (Acts 16:20-25).
For instance, he didn’t rejoice that he was a captive.
But he did celebrate the great ministry he had among his prison guards.
If we believe the Lord is in control and He keeps His promises-
– then we must trust in the principle of Romans 5:3-5.
“…we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope…”
This passage assures us that our hardships have purpose.
They develop our endurance, strengthen our character, and solidify our hope.
Two immediate rewards of suffering are-
– the building up of our faith and
– the preparation for greater service to His kingdom.
We’re able to rejoice because we’re maturing believers whom God uses for His purposes.
The Lord will bring good from our persecution, just as He did for Paul.
But if we allow doubt to cloud our faith-
– we won’t be able to rejoice in what He’s doing through our life.
And if we can’t rejoice-
– we’re in danger of giving up before God’s good work is completed.
Rejoicing keeps us focused upon the Lord and His purpose.