God Blesses – Even When…

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)

Here’s a blessing (a beatitude) that we don’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 it…because of Him, that is God, with a capital ‘G’.

It’s fairly easy for me to think of being insulted.  Yes, I have had lies told about me.  I’ve been mistreated in my life, too.  I think the key words here that all that ‘stuff’ 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 there’s just ‘trash talk’ 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 ‘dis-sing’ people?  Do you stand there when someone puts someone else down?  And laugh?  Is the silence so loud that it screams, “Go ahead!  I don’t care!”

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, “Give him that $5 that you have stuck in your change tray?”  “No,” you think, “he’ll just spend it for booze!”  What if it is God saying to give?  Isn’t it also His job to judge?  What the man does with the money…isn’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 can’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 ‘good work’ coin and out pops a blessing.  The size of the blessing does not come in equal portion to the work.  No, that isn’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 “get excited” 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 God’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.

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