Persecution (Part 5)

As this series on persecution concludes, the reality of suffering for Jesus is simply part of the Christian life.  The Bible is filled with examples of it.  Through the suffering there are blessings, and people can witness to their faith in the midst of it.  But the greatest promise that Jesus gives in the face of persecution is that it will be rewarded.

The rewards are sometimes temporal, here on earth, but they are always eternal, awaiting us in heaven.  Hear what Jesus said in Mark 10:29-30. 

“Truly I tell you,” Jesus replied, “no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age: homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields—along with persecutions—and in the age to come eternal life.”

Notice that Jesus states that there are rewards here and now as well as in the hereafter.  Because eternal life far surpasses anything here on earth, our suffering can be put in perspective.  The writer to the Hebrews concludes that in Hebrews 10:33-34.  He writes, “You were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated.  You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions.”

Although the topic of persecution is daunting, the promise of the Lord’s love, forgiveness, and eternal life gives us hope in the face of insurmountable odds.  May God bless you with this enduring faith as you walk with Him all the days of your life.

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