Words from the Heart for Tuesday April 21st, 2020
God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.
Matthew 5:10 (NLT)
In an article in the Toronto Sun this past Christmas, Candice Malcolm wrote: “In the past, I’ve written about disappearing Christian populations around the world. In many parts of Asia, including Pakistan and China, Christians are harassed, persecuted and banned. In much of Africa, they are targeted and slaughtered by warlords and Islamist terrorist groups. And even in Europe, the birthplace of many of our Christian traditions, Christians have been attacked by terrorists in Christmas markets and churches.
It didn’t take long after the church was birthed on the Day of Pentecost for the followers of Jesus to face persecution. The Christian life always stands in opposition to the principles and actions that drive the world. Simply by living our lives according to Biblical authority and the leading of the Holy Spirit, we witness to the reality of the God who exists and who calls every human into relationship with Him through faith in Jesus Christ. We cannot expect to be treated any differently than Jesus was when He was here on earth. The Lord Himself understood this, and taught in Matthew 5:10, “God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.” The heart of the Christian message is that there is a life that is far more than what we experience here on earth. It goes on long after death and only then do we as followers of Jesus experience the fullness and completion of our faith. This is why Jesus can teach that those who are persecuted for following Him are blessed – filled with joy. We don’t face persecution here for our faith, but we do sometimes face opposition. In those moments when others don’t understand you, look to the Lord for the joy He promises.
These have been words from the heart.