Touching God's Truth on Persecution
Five Blessings for the Six Senses
Series Part 5: TOUCH
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:10
Saving the Best for Last
Returning Good for Evil is the Highest Measure of a Christ Follower
This blessing is not for the faint of heart. Pain and suffering were promised to Paul.
Acts 9:15-16 tells us: But the Lord said to [Ananias], "Go, for [Saul, later named Paul] is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel. For I will show him how much he must suffer for the sake of my name.”
Persecution Is a Process
Paul learned this lesson and proved it in the process.
Consider 2 Corinthians 4:7-12: But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us. We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair;9 persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you.
Would You Like It If Someone Lied, Mocked, Said Evil Things About You, AND Beat You Up?
Paul did not like it... but he was happy about it.
Because Jesus told him to be happy about it.
Matthew 5:12 tells us:
Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Consider 2 Corinthians 6:8-10: We are treated as impostors, and yet are true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold, we live; as punished, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, yet possessing everything.
Paul reported it in detail.
In 2 Corinthians 11:23-28, we read:
Are they servants of Christ? I am a better one—I am talking like a madman—with far greater labors, far more imprisonments, with countless beatings, and often near death. Five times I received at the hands of the Jews the forty lashes less one. Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked; a night and a day I was adrift at sea; on frequent journeys, in danger from rivers, danger from robbers, danger from my own people, danger from Gentiles, danger in the city, danger in the wilderness, danger at sea, danger from false brothers; in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure. And, apart from other things, there is the daily pressure on me of my anxiety for all the churches.
Touch God's Truth about Persecution
Paul dreamed and desired to know Christ, experience His power, suffer and share in His death, and one day be resurrected.
Paul shares this in Philippians 3:10-11:
...that I may know Him and the power of his resurrection, and may share His sufferings, becoming like Him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.