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Monday, November 28, 2016

Expect Persecution (day 74)

Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven
Blessed are you when men shall revile you and persecute you and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely for my sake. Rejoice and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.
Many years ago, when I began this journey of discovery in the blessings, these last 2 gave me some real problems. Because they seemed to be way too similar. But as I have thought and prayed over them, I believe God has shown me that they are radically different.

Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven
The first thing I notice is that this blessing follows the same form as the first 7. It is pronounced in the third person; Blessed are they”.

However, it is different in that being persecuted is not something that I can strive to attain. It is something that will or won’t happen to me. But there is no doubt about will or won’t. Jesus says;

I have spoken these things to you so that you might have peace in Me. In the world, you shall have tribulation, but be of good cheer. I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)
There is a verse of promise that many people like to think of, but do you think of it in connection with this verse from John 16? That popular promise verse is Romans 8:28.

All things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.
God’s Word says we are blessed when we are persecuted. Jesus has said that we can have peace in Him when we have tribulation. And Paul said “ALL THINGS work together for good.”

Today I am challenged to simply believe what seems hard to believe. I am challenged to find peace in Jesus in the midst of tribulation and trial.

Blessed Father in Heaven, your word tells me that your thoughts are not my thoughts and your ways are not the ways I would choose. Your ways are as the heavens are above the earth, higher than anything I can understand or comprehend. Give me grace Blessed Father to accept the truth of your word until I can understand more of your way. (ref Isaiah 55:8-9)

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