Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
— MATTHEW 5:11–12 —
V. S. | Asia
Normally, people think that a man who is blessed is one who has property, cars, and other luxuries of life. But here Jesus gives a counter-cultural perspective of blessedness, or joy, being found in suffering for the sake of our faith in Christ. This challenges our human understanding, but it is scriptural and true. Consider that this world hates Jesus, and so it will hate us as well (John 15:20). When we suffer for following Jesus, and not for our own sinful foolishness, we are blessed as our faith and endurance grows stronger (James 1:3). We should rejoice always and be glad because Jesus commands us to. This means great joy and peace should guard our hearts. When people attack and revile us as we seek to do kingdom work, we will have greater intimacy with God through the Spirit (1 Pet. 4:14). When people persecute us, revile us, or even take our lives for Christ’s sake, we are blessed. It defies the world’s definition of blessing, but from a biblical viewpoint, God does great things in His people’s hearts and lives through suffering. We should rejoice always and be glad because Jesus commands us to. This means great joy and peace should guard our hearts. We may lose much in this life, but spiritually our loss is gain now and in the future. Notice the motivation Jesus gives. First, our reward in heaven is great. Second, we are not alone—we can look to the models of suffering in the prophets who were martyred for faithfulness. Dear Christian, remember and know that you are blessed when you are suffering for Jesus. Be glad by looking at your spiritual blessings in Christ. Encourage other brothers and sisters to grasp on to the unshakeable joy of Christ.