Friday, July 31, 2015

Persecuted for Faith (2 Corinthians 11:21b-29)

Today’s scripture: 2 Corinthians 11:21b-29

I love reviewing the Beatitudes; our Lord Jesus encouraged His audience then—and His readers now. The last of these is: “Blessed are those who have been persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:10).

Whenever I read this, I have to ask myself: Have I ever truly been persecuted for my faith?

While I’ve been ridiculed and stifled, I’ve never been persecuted … certainly not like Paul was. When I read verses like today’s, I’m humbled—really humbled. Imprisonments. Beatings. Betrayals. Shipwrecks. Dangers from all sides.

Paul was really, truly persecuted for the sake of righteousness.

And today, Christians throughout the world are still being persecuted.

A couple of years ago, the story of Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani made the headlines when he was released from an Iranian prison after three years. Praise God! But more are suffering. Just last month, imprisoned pastor Saeed Adedini, who has been imprisoned since 2012, was reportedly viciously beaten.

Christendom has its martyrs, its persecuted. Most of us will never experience what Paul did then or Pastor Adenini is now. But whenever we stand up for truth, whenever we’re insulted for our faith, whenever we’re shunned because of Christ, we are blessed.

And one day, anything we experience during this temporary life will be forgotten as we spend eternity with our Lord.

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