CrossReads Weekly Devotional: Blessed are Those who are Persecuted for Righteousness Sake 8/7/2023

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by Precarious Yates

Blessed are you who are persecuted for righteousness sake for yours is the Kingdom of Heaven. ~Matthew 5:10

Jesus promises that we, as His followers, will have trouble. John 16:31 says that in this world we will have trouble. In the first century, after Jesus ascended, the disciples faced fierce opposition and persecution for their faith. Some were hung. Some were beheaded. 

Right now in the US, hardly anyone faces real persecution. There may be opposition to the faith all around, but almost no one is in prison or killed for their faith. That isn’t the case everywhere in this world. In some countries, converting to Christianity can be a death sentence. The persecution is fierce. 

In the countries where Christianity is accepted, we’ve become shortsighted and have lost the perception of eternal rewards. So many people in these countries have their rewards right now. We’re not prepared for the level of persecution experienced elsewhere in the world. We’re not prepared because somehow we’ve gotten this crazy idea that it’s selfish to seek eternal rewards. 

Nothing could be further from the truth. 

Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, tells us to store up treasures in Heaven. We do this by trusting in Him and working with Him to bring His purposes to the earth. We do this by believing His word that we will be rewarded when we suffer for Him and for His name’s sake. When we don’t shrink back in fear, when we become convinced of the rewards of eternity, we enter into a different mindset. Our paradigm shifts.

How do we get there? By spending time with the Lord. By turning our attention to Him. By praying His word. 

My heart aches knowing that there will come a time when we will see the levels of persecution seen elsewhere in this world—and Christians here aren’t ready. We need to pray for our brothers and sisters in the faith to rise up in courage and believe God’s word. We need to have the courage and steadfast gaze that Paul had when he said that he counted all as loss that he might gain Christ. 

God has blessed us tremendously. He gave us His one and only Son to be our Savior. He has given us His Holy Spirit so that we would be His hands and feet to a broken and hurting world. He has given us grace that abounds and that will abound more even in the face of persecution. To whom much is given, much will be required (Luke 12:48). 

The apostles rejoiced that they would be counted worthy to suffer. Many Christians need a serious paradigm shift before we can get to the place where we realize that it’s a privilege to suffer for Christ—to give up and suffer loss as a lifestyle when the eternal rewards might be seconds away or seventy years away. We shift by turning to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith. We thank Him for salvation. We thank Him for the rewards He promises (find them in His word and speak out the specific promises you’re thankful for). We ask for grace during times of trial—grace to love and grace to endure. Seat yourself beneath the brightness of His glory and learn at His feet. He will make His joy complete in you and in me. 

May we truly learn what it means to be blessed, and may we have the courage to walk in it. 

In Christ,

Precarious Yates 

About the Author:

Precarious YatesPrecarious Yates has lived in 8 different states of the Union and 3 different countries, but currently lives in Texas with her husband, her daughter and their big dogs. When she’s not writing, she enjoys music, teaching, playing on jungle gyms, praying and reading. She holds a Masters in the art of making tea and coffee and a PhD in Slinky® disentangling.


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