Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
As I look at these virtues regularly at least one seems too difficult. I can be tempted here to be discouraged and give up. I am tempted.
Many times, Jesus says, “Follow me.”. As I look at the virtues in the blessings, I see Jesus’ life. As there is difficulty I can see that he had difficulty as well. In Hebrews 12:2 it says;
Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Of course, we believe that the cross of Calvary was a terrible suffering, but it was not the only suffering Jesus endured. It also says in Hebrews 4:15;
For we do not have a high priest who cannot be touched with the feelings of our infirmities, but was in all points tempted just as we are, yet without sin.
In the everyday life, Jesus was tempted. He was contradicted. And still he learned obedience because he chose to suffer. (ref 1 Peter 2:23 & Hebrews 5:8) He suffered when he was tempted.
Back in the Hebrews 12 passage it speaks of “the joy that was set before him”. You and I are that joy. He had to suffer when tempted every day in order for the cross of Calvary to have any effect. And he left us an example to follow. Not just to get to heaven, but also that we might have life abundant now. He did it so that we can be being changed to become like him.
That is his joy and this is the way.
For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. (1 Peter 2:23)