In His final Beatitude, Jesus tells us that it is about to get tough. Persecution happened to the prophets, it is happening to me, and it will happen to you.
10Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11"Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. – Matthew 5:10-12
In our sterilized view of Christianity (primarily here in America), we think that once we get saved that everything should work out for us. In fact, if we have any problems we are shocked. “How can this happen to me? I am a Christian. Where is God? Everything should be ‘hunk dory’ in my life because I am a Christian. Right?” Most Christians throughout history and even now throughout the world know that problems and persecution don’t disappear when we come to Christ, but in many ways, they begin. God actually promises us…
In fact, everyone (all) who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted. – 2 Timothy 3:12
How many followers of Christ will experience persecution? ALL. In other words, ALL who live the Beatitudes will suffer persecution.
Some Christians try to hide from the persecution. But, God doesn’t want us to live under the radar. The devil would love for us to hide and not let anyone see Christ in us and not share Christ with anyone else. The devil tries to convince us that it is best to just not make any waves; don’t rock the boat. But, we know that that is not what we are here for. We are here to make a difference. We are here to bring Christ into the lives of a lost and dying world. We are called to be peacemakers. We are called to be salt and light. We are called to be let the light of Jesus shine. And when we do, we will be persecuted. Many people don’t like Jesus and if we are ambassadors of Christ, many people won’t like us. That is just the way it is and we must be OK with that.
So are you suffering for Him? Are you catching some flack for your faith or are you a secret agent. Do people know that you are a follower of Christ?