Verse of the Day Devotion: Matthew 5:12
“Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” – Matthew 5:12
You have probably seen the news showing how Christians are becoming more and more persecuted throughout the world. In China, Christians are put into re-education camps in order to get them to renounce their beliefs and accept the government as their leaders. In middle eastern and African Muslim nations, Christians are being killed for their faith. You either convert or die.
These are extreme examples, but the persecution of Christians is on the rise here in the United States. It has not yet reached the level of other places, but it is just a matter of time. There are already cases where Christians face persecution because they will not accept the evil beliefs that those in power are forcing on us. In some places, it is becoming illegal to pray to the true God, but acceptable to pray to false ones. It is amazing to me that it is OK to glorify and worship any God, as long as it is not the Christian’s God.
We are seeing only the beginning of what is coming. I know this part is difficult to think about, however, hear what Jesus said. “Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.” Matthew 5:11. What He is saying is we are to stand strong when we are persecuted. When they persecute and lie about us, saying all kinds of evil against us, we are to rejoice and be blessed. Why? As the focus verse says, our reward will be great in Heaven. For this is exactly what happened to the prophets of old. We are not to back down or compromise, because we know we are the ones who will overcome.
So, when you are ridiculed, cursed at and treated badly on account of your belief in Jesus Christ, stand tall and proud. God is with you and will help you through the situation. And He will reward us beyond anything we could ever imagine. And that makes it all worth it.
William Funkhouser MDiv, ThD, Founder and President of True Devotion Ministries, Inc