Daily Devotional: Day 55
“Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:10, KJV).
The Bible shows us what to expect when we choose to follow Jesus. Blessings will follow us, but so shall persecution. Today’s passage is taken from Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount. Jesus knew the price his followers would pay, and he has prepared us for it. He says today that there’s a price to pay for walking in righteousness. The Bible warns us of spiritual warfare. God wants his kingdom to expand, but the Enemy won’t go quietly. Righteousness poses a threat to the kingdom of evil. If you decide to follow Jesus, you’re deciding to follow righteousness, and that makes you a threat to the kingdom of evil. Sooner or later, you’ll be persecuted for your righteousness. Even as preacher of the Gospel, you can be persecuted for calling people to righteousness. Sometimes the persecution is direct; other times, it’s subtle and indirect. You’re blessed, Jesus says, if you get persecuted for righteousness sake; yours is the kingdom of heaven.
Paul made a similar point when he wrote to Timothy, “Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution” (2 Timothy 3:12). We live in a world that increasingly finds godliness repulsive. Even among Christians, you can be persecuted for righteousness sake. That shouldn’t surprise you. The Bible says these things shall happen. Take comfort in the promises of Jesus. When people persecute you because you stand for righteousness, it means your light is shining. Rejoice, for yours is the kingdom of heaven.
Dear Father, thank you for the revelation of your righteousness. Give me the courage to live out your righteousness and to proclaim it without fear. In the Name of Jesus.
For further study: Luke 6:20-26