Monday, September 7, 2020

He Blesses the Persecuted

 By: Joanne Viola

 “God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.”
(Matthew 5:10, NLT)

Persecution has been defined as acts or actions taken against a group of people to exterminate or cause harm to the group based on their religious, ethnic, social, or racial background.

It can happen anywhere to any group of people. Other parts of the world have surely faced greater persecution than Christians have here in the United States.

The tide may be changing as believers are pushed back and the Church is no longer the center of American life. Let’s take a closer look at persecution and its affect on us today.

“Persecution is like holy fertilizer that sinks into the soil of our hearts and minds, producing Christlikeness as we respond to Jesus in faith.”

(from The Good Life by Dr. Derwin L. Gray, page 193)

Hard times and difficulties cause us to learn to focus on God, His Word, and His promises instead of our problems. Even when life seems bleak and hopeless, we find ourselves filled with hope and endurance.

Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.”
(James 1:2-4, NLT)

Hard times and difficulties cause us to grow, allowing Him to remove sin from our lives and stand faithful in the face of opposition.

“Endurance allows us to not grow in bitterness or pettiness, but to be patient with a uclture that is fractured and hurt.”

(from The Good Life by Dr. Derwin L. Gray, page 195)

As we grow in Him, we are better able to remain gracious and kind even towards those who seem to oppose and wound us. We refrain from responding harshly because we recognize whom we battle:

For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12, NLT)

As the climate in the world around us grows more hostile and divided, may we be of those who come to love and pray for those who persecute us. It is the way this dying world will be reached, and we will be blessed for doing so.


Image by LUM3N from Pixabay








  1. Have you read "The Insanity of God" or seen the movie? It is about how Christianity finds a way to thrive in persecution. The movie really hit my boys when they saw it. They left saying, "Wow. . . just WOW!" We have been blessed in America that we haven't suffered the kinds of persecution for our faith like other places in the world today! You are so right about the need to be patient - to keep reaching and to keep loving, even those who persecute us! They can be saved, too!

  2. Yes, I agree with Maryleigh's comment! Your post reminded me also of the book, "The Insanity of God." I do feel the culture changing around us now, as the enemy of our souls is having his time. But Jesus is calling us to love even more, to show that mercy and grace that you spoke of. May we love those ones who have been caught up in the web of the enemy without even realizing it.


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