Matthew 5:10-12 – Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
This whole thought of persecution challenges our concept of the word Blessings. It causes the word to go much deeper from something temporal to something spiritual (Romans 15:27) and indeed eternal. If blessings only spoke of temporal things, then could we even say that the persecuted are blessed? Persecution causes us to be dependent on God (2 Corinthians 12:9-10) and poor in spirit (Matthew 5:3). That is a state of blessing–a take on “blessing” that is rather foreign to most.
1 Peter 4:12-14 – Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ’s sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed. If you are insulted for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests upon you. Yet if anyone suffers as a Christian, let him not be ashamed, but let him glorify God in that name.
Cf. John 15:18-20; Acts 14:22; 2 Cor 4:8-11; 2 Timy 3:12.
* Originally posted on former blog, I’m Calling Us Out.