10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. Matthew 5:10-12 (ESV)
How Jesus Helps Us Face Persecution.
- With a pronouncement of blessing on those being persecuted.
- With a picture of what persecution will look like.
- By our response to persecution.
23 Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven; for so their fathers
did to the prophets. Luke 6:23 (ESV)
3 … but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. Romans 5:3-5 (ESV)
10 Do not fear what you are about to suffer. Behold, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and for ten days you will have tribulation. Be faithful unto death, and I will give you the crown of life. Revelation 2:10 (ESV)
How Do We Personally Prepare for Suffering?
- Accept that Persecution is to be Expected.
- Own we are different from the world.
- Value the unique fellowship persecution gives you.
- See through Biblical glasses: persecution grows you.
3 for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4 And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. James 1:3-4 (ESV)
How Do We Assist Others Suffering Persecution
1 Let brotherly love continue. 2 Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. 3 Remember those who are in prison, as though in prison with them, and those who are mistreated, since you also are in the body. Hebrews 13:1-3 (ESV)
Are You Ready For Persecution?
Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. Revelation 20:4b (ESV)
Take heart, yes, persecution is coming, but it is for righteousness’ sake and on account of Jesus; therefore, we can rejoice in what we are promised regardless of what happens in the present.