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Blessed Are The Persecuted

Blessed Are The Persecuted

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven.
Matthew 5:10

This is to be happy with an eternal mindset. It's not temporary happiness, but lifelong joy. This is to find absolute peace in your life, no matter your circumstances. To be “blessed” is to understand that you have been given grace by a Holy God. Even though we are dead in our trespasses and sins (Ephesians 2:1-3), it is God who has chosen to make us alive in Christ (Ephesians 2:4). “For by Grace are we Saved Through Faith” in Christ alone (Ephesians 2:8-9). This comprehension should bring to you much joy!

To be "blessed" is to understand and submit to the Sovereignty of God in all situations. Whether things are going well or poorly, you know that you have been blessed by the Supreme Ruler of the Universe. You surrender to His Sovereign will and you have submitted to His decree. To be “blessed” is to view yourself as nothing more than a servant of the King, and no matter the assignment given to you, you will joyfully carry it out with all hope of eternity.

As you consider “blessings” don’t think of just physical gifts that God gives to us — that is a worldly mindset. To be "blessed" is to be totally satisfied in Christ no matter your circumstances. The difference between a genuine believer in Christ and one who is just in search of “blessings” is found in the result of the search. The world is seeking the benefits of Jesus, where the true believer is pursing Christ Himself. The world calls healing a “blessing,” but will not call sickness a “blessing.” The world will call a prosperous person “blessed,” but will not understand that a poor man can be “blessed.” It is not the results of Christ that are the blessings, but it is Jesus Christ Himself. He is sufficient. He is all-satisfying. Pursue Him as a deer pants for the water (Psalm 42:1-2).

Consider the “blessing” that is found in 1 Peter 4:12-14… 

“Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as through something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you.”

There are 4 elements to remember in persecution in order for your life to bring glory to God during times of trials:

1) Expect it. Don’t be caught off guard. Be ready. Be prepared. And approach it with courage.
2) Rejoice in it. Find joy and satisfaction in Christ alone. No matter what is being thrown at you, joy in the glory of God.

3) Set your mind. Remember to not turn to the left or to the right. Set your compass north. Remember that it is not YOU that is being persecuted, but it is Christ.
4) Trust God with all that is happening. This is the purpose of the trial. The process of your sanctification is the goal of the situation... complete and total dependence on Christ. 

Luke 6:22 says, “Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man.”

Summary of the Beatitude
We are NOT to go looking for persecution -- that is not the point. But your life should be so counter-cultural that you should experience these types of things. You are not placed here as an Ambassador to be OF the world... only to be IN the world. So, you should experience hardship for your faith. It should be a natural result of living counter-cultural. When this happens, there is much blessing from God.
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