Today's Devotion (Thursday)

Rejoicing In Persecution

MATTHEW 5:10-12

Key Verse:

"Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you" (Matthew 5:12).

"The Lord compensates the faithful for every loss. That which is taken away from those who love the Lord will be returned unto them in His own way. While it may not come at the time we desire, we know that every tear today, will eventually be returned a hundredfold with tears of rejoicing and gratitude" (Joseph B. Wirthlin). This is the attitude of those who truly understand the inner nature of the Christian life. They are able to rejoice in persecution, because they know that life exists beyond this world. The values and character expressed in the Beatitudes are so opposite to the world’s manner of thinking that to them, the only reception for these kinds of people is persecution. Our trials strengthen our witness and testimony, if we persevere through. We get the ability to comfort others, because we have been there. If people see us being strong in the midst of persecution and know that we rely on God for strength: it is a powerful witness. Paul and Silas were examples of this in Acts 16:23-31. After being beaten and thrown into prison, they prayed and sang praises to God "and the prisoners heard them." What a witness! Paul the apostle encountered much suffering in his work for the Lord, yet he rejoiced and persevered. As Christians, tribulation and persecution are to be expected. These trials help us become more like Christ. They help work patience in us. They help us lean more on God and trust Him. We need to understand that God is in control and He promises to work all things for our good. The same God who neutralised Nebuchadnezzar’s furnace of fire for the three Hebrew children is still alive today. He has promised never to leave or forsake us. All we need do therefore when persecuted, is to trust in the Lord.

Thought for the day: The hotter the fire, the finer the gold.

Bible Reading in one Year: GENESIS 38-40

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