Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matthew 5:11-12)
If you are human, there is a 100-percent chance, someone, somewhere has said something behind your back or in front of your face which was not only wrong, but downright evil. Human nature, because of our fallen nature, goes dark very quickly. Sometimes, the very people we applaud one moment will fall victim to our disgust the very next. How perverse humankind can be!
It is one thing when another person says something to hurt you, but another thing altogether, when a fellow believer uses their actions and words to inflict pain. Remember, when someone is squeezed, it is what’s inside them that will make itself known on the outside. Besides that, it is a double blow to us, because we were not expecting God’s children to react that way…but, oh well!
Immature disciples can fall prey to words and actions of discouragement unless they are prepared in advance for what’s to come. That is exactly what Jesus was doing for His followers in this passage. If you are dealing with hurtful words and vengeful actions, as you are trying to serve Jesus, keep your head up. You are in good company! Not only that, but Jesus says there’s a reward coming in heaven for being the target of someone’s ungodly actions. If they are taking a shot at you, just make sure it is because of your stand for Christ, not because your flesh was out in front all along.
“Oh Lord, empower me to stand with boldness for You, regardless of the cost I might pay, but prick my heart if I am standing for me alone. In Jesus’ name, Amen.”