Blessed Are You…

“(11) Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. (12)  Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” Matthew 5:11-12

 

There are events and circumstances in life that cause me great sorrow and consternation, but I am trying to keep myself in the Holy Spirit, remembering that God is working HIS character and nature into me as I go through painful trials. I am reminded of the following scripture:

 

“(24) But Jesus did not commit Himself to them, because He knew all men, and had no need that anyone should testify of man, for He knew what was in man.” John 2:24-25

 

We may think we know someone well if we have known them for months, years or decades, but there are certain times when we must realize that if Jesus did not entrust himself to any other human, not even John, His beloved disciple, then we shouldn’t be surprised when we are betrayed by those who are closest to us.

 

Zechariah prophesied about Jesus’ pain and sorrow:

 

And one will say to him, ‘What are these wounds between your arms?’ Then he will answer, ‘Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.” Zechariah 13:6

 

I find illumination in the following passage concerning the things we must suffer in this world:

“Now brother will deliver up brother to death, and a father his child; and children will rise up against parents and cause them to be put to death.   And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved.  When they persecute you in this city, flee to another. For assuredly, I say to you, you will not have gone through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes. A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master.  It is enough for a disciple that he be like his teacher, and a servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more will they call those of his household!  Therefore do not fear them. For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known.  Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops.  And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Matthew 10:21-28

 

There is great comfort in those words because I realize that there is nothing that man can say about me or do to me that God is not watching. Some day He will bring justice, and every tear I have shed because of the pain of betrayal is stored up – not one tear goes unnoticed. Not one moment of loneliness escapes His tender watchfulness over me. The following is a devotional message from ICEJ that is very apropos to my current trials.

 

Sifted

 

“And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.” Luke 22:31-32

 

In the evening just before His betrayal, capture, torture, and trial, Christ turned to Simon with these final words, encouraging him to remain strong. Of course, Peter boldly proclaimed that he would never deny Christ, but Christ knew better. Actually, our text is quite forceful. Christ claimed that Satan has “begged earnestly” (literal translation of “desired”), not just for Peter, but for all the disciples, as seen in the plural pronoun “you,” to “sift you as wheat.” Satan knew (as he still knows) that the fall of Christian leaders causes many others to fall, and if all of the disciples could be made to abandon the faith, the gospel could not be spread. Christ turned specifically to Peter as the generally recognized spokesman for the disciples, and even though He knew Peter would fall, Christ informed him that he had been prayed for, that his “faith fail not.” Indeed, Peter did turn around, once he saw the risen Lord, and became a leader in the fledgling church in Jerusalem, as well as a missionary. Through the witness of Peter and those he strengthened, the gospel has come to us. Satan’s desire to sift those who would spread the gospel and lead others has not abated. He knows the destruction it causes in the lives of those influenced by the one who falls. The “ripple effect” may last for years, and many weaker brothers and sisters may never recover. But take heart! The One who prayed for Peter “ever liveth to make intercession for |us|” Hebrews 7:25; (see also John 17:6-26). Just as God answered Christ’s intercessory prayer for Peter, so He will answer Christ’s intercessory prayer for us. JDM

 

Walking in forgiveness is very important to our salvation and our peace of mind. Forgiving a brother for his sins does not mean we can or should trust him again, but it takes our “hands off his neck” so that God can deal with him. It is tempting to decide not to love, help, trust or share with another soul. It is so hard to believe in others when we have been betrayed. But the human heart was made for God, and God is love. Therefore, our faith and love are inextricably bound together, and no matter how painful it is sometimes, the only way to truly love with Christ’s love is to risk getting hurt.

 

So I’ll end the way I began –

 

“(11) Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. (12) Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” Matthew 5:11-12

 

Selah

Pastora Covert

 

You must be logged in to post a comment.