#DailyDevotion Jesus’ Disciples Shouldn’t Expect An Easy Life
Matt. 511Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you, lie and tell only evil about you on account of Me. 12 Rejoice and be glad because you have a great reward in heaven. That’s how they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
Now the Beatitudes get particularly personal with the disciples whom Jesus had called to follow him. Up to this point it was all 3rd person. Now Jesus is talking directly about those who are following him. What can you expect when you follow Jesus of Nazareth and are his disciple? People are going to insult you, persecute you, lie and tell only evil about you on account of Jesus. This can happen in a thousand ways. Probably not the opening lines of a sermon you’d expect from someone trying to get followers.
Yet, in spite of the persecution, Jesus tells us to rejoice and be glad. Why is that? Because you have a great reward in heaven. What sort of reward might that be? Paul tells us in 2 Cor. 4 17”The light trouble of this moment is preparing for us an everlasting weight of glory, greater than anything we can imagine.” That glory which the LORD will share with no one is ours in Christ Jesus.
Yes through patient endurance of suffering the ills of the world because you follow Jesus the Lord has great things planned for you. Rev. 2:7 “I will let you eat from the tree of life that stands in God’s Paradise.” Rev. 2:10 “I will give you the crown of life.” Rev. 2:17 “I will give you some of the hidden manna, and I will give you a white stone, and on the white stone is written a new name that is known only to him who gets it.” Rev. 2:26ff. “I will give you power over the nations, 27just as I received it from My Father, and you will rule them with an iron rod, shattering them like pottery. 28And I will give you the Morning Star.” Rev. 3:5 “Be victorious and that’s how you will be dressed – in white garments — and I will not erase your name from the book of life but will confess your name before My Father and before His angels Be victorious and that’s how you will be dressed – in white garments — and I will not erase your name from the book of life but will confess your name before My Father and before His angels. Rev. 3:12 “’Be victorious, and I will make you a pillar in the temple of My God, and you will never leave it again. I will write on you the name of My God and the name of the city of My God — the new Jerusalem coming down from My God in heaven – and My new name.” Rev. 3:21 “’Be victorious, and I will have you sit with Me on My throne, as I have won the victory and have sat down with My Father on His throne.”
Meanwhile until we inherit such things from our Lord Jesus Christ, we also have these promises concerning suffering persecution in this life. Paul tells us Romans 5:3ff. “we know that suffering produces patient endurance, and patient endurance produces a genuine Christian character; and a genuine Christian character produces hope. In this hope we’re not disappointed, because the Holy Spirit, Who has been given to us, poured God’s love into our hearts.” Yes, the Lord Jesus Christ uses the persecutions the world and the devils provides us to work good in us. Suffering is not without purpose or value in Christ Jesus.
Almighty and All-wise Father, grant us continually your Holy Spirit that we may remain faithful to Jesus Christ all the days of our lives that following him in sufferings and persecutions we may inherit his kingdom on the day of his revelation. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.