Standing For Christ When The Pressure Is On

Matthew 5:11-12 – “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

Have you ever had a lie spread about you? Recently I was talking with a young woman who had a vicious rumor spread about her. The rumor was completely false. And, even though the rumor was something that would have been completely out of character for the young woman, she was completely distraught because some of her best friends had chosen to believe it.

That is an awful feeling. Sometimes I think that sort of thing happens to followers of Christ because Satan wants to discourage us from living godly lives. Our reputations are precious to us. And, most of us will go to great lengths to protect it. So, when Jesus tells us that we are blessed when people spread all kinds of evil against us because of Him, we may be tempted to pause and say, “Jesus, what are you talking about?! Being lied about is not a blessing.”

But, Jesus would stand by His words. Christians, you will face persecution. If we stand for Christ, Satan stands against us. Did you catch that? Now, read it slowly and let the words sink in. If we stand for Christ, Satan stands against us. Expect the persecution. But, know that even if the world turns against us, Christ does not. He knows what it’s like to be betrayed and denied by those He loved. He chooses to stand by His children when no one else will. And, be assured, He who knows the truth, will reward you in heaven. Your reward will be great.

My wife and daughter like to tease me because I tend to overemphasize the greatness of things that I try and enjoy. If I go to a new restaurant and like the food, it’s The Greatest Restaurant I’ve ever eaten at! “We know,” they’ll say. And then they’ll say, “You said the same thing about the last restaurant you ate at.”

When Jesus says that your reward in heaven is great, He isn’t exaggerating. We can face the persecution and stand in light of the fact that Christ is aware, and will reward. It will happen in His time. He’s promised it, and he never breaks a promise!

Dear God,

We want to stand firm for You, no matter the cost. Help us to follow You unashamedly. You are our delight and we rejoice in You.

In Jesus’ name,

Amen.

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