Happy People – The persecuted

Our final beatitude talks about those who are persecuted. Paul tells us that:

 12 Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 13 while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived[1]

Now remember two things here. First, that the blessing is for those who are persecuted for doing right. So, at many times in life, we will experience suffering because of our own sins and failings. Secondly, we should see how Scripture applies to the whole church around the world and recognise that what we experience here in the west is nothing compared to the suffering that our brothers and sisters in the Global South face.

Bur following Jesus and speaking truthfully for him should lead to some experience of opposition for us collectively as God’s people. Some of you will have faced this. It may have been something small like being excluded from a friendship group but that will have actually felt big to you. And I know that some people do occasionally read Faithroots from other countries where your decision to love and speak for Christ means you risk beatings, prison and possible death.

So how can we face opposition? The Bible is clear (see 1 Peter 2) that we can do so because Christ has already faced it. We both benefit from his death and resurrection meaning that we are changed people and able to stick close to Christ even in adversity. AS a consequence of this we are called to follow his example. We know that Christ will return and so we know that any present suffering is temporary. We look forward to future grace, future reward with hope.

[1] 2 Timothy 3:12 -13.

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