God will bless you when people insult you, mistreat you, and tell all kinds of evil lies about you because of me. Be happy and excited! You will have a great reward in heaven. People did these same things to the prophets who lived long ago. Matthew 5:11-12 (CEV)
Hereâ€™s a blessing (a beatitude) that we donâ€™t list as often with the others, do we? What a double-edged sword!!!
God is going to bless me:
- When people insult me
- When people mistreat me
- When people tell all kinds of evil lies about me
And they do itâ€¦because of Him, that is God, with a capital â€˜Gâ€™.
Itâ€™s fairly easy for me to think of being insulted. Yes, I have had lies told about me. Iâ€™ve been mistreated in my life, too. I think the key words here that all that â€˜stuffâ€™ comes because of God. Did I take the hits because of Jesus?
Have you ever heard dirty jokes in the lunch room? Maybe nothing overt but innuendos and sly chuckles. Or maybe thereâ€™s just â€˜trash talkâ€™ with foul language. Did you speak up? Did you politely but firmly ask them not to speak like that or tell the jokes in front of you?
How about â€˜dis-singâ€™ people? Do you stand there when someone puts someone else down? And laugh? Is the silence so loud that it screams, â€œGo ahead! I donâ€™t care!â€
What is your comment about the man standing at the roadside with a sign in his hands? Do you hear a voice in your head saying, â€œGive him that $5 that you have stuck in your change tray?â€ â€œNo,â€ you think, â€œheâ€™ll just spend it for booze!â€ What if it is God saying to give? Isnâ€™t it also His job to judge? What the man does with the moneyâ€¦isnâ€™t that between him and God?
These are not questions leveled just at you. They are passing through me and I must allow the Holy Spirit to sift and shine His light on all the corners of my life, too. I canâ€™t sweep my house clean unless I allow the Holy Spirit to turn on His floodlights in all the corners and closets.
Remember that song about standing up for Jesus. Am I His soldier or a wimp? It is not MY muscle that I flex but it is my choice to show up at the gym to work out with Him!!!
God is not a vending machine where I put in my â€˜good workâ€™ coin and out pops a blessing. The size of the blessing does not come in equal portion to the work. No, that isnâ€™t how He works. God is looking for an obedient disciple. He blesses His obedient disciples with an ever-closer relationship and in His presence the blessings flow. The blessings are HUGE and extravagant. They are more than I could ask or imagine.
I am not to the â€œget excitedâ€ place in my persecution! I read the book of Revelation and I imagine seeing some quiet, unassuming saint sitting on some of those thrones around Godâ€™s throne. They are surprised by their place there but they stood for God when they were called by the circumstances in their life. They are my heroes. They are a testimony to me.