As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today (Gen 50:20).
Bad things happen to good people just as good things happen to bad people. In this day and age what used to be deemed good is now evil and what used to be called evil is now acceptable (Isaiah 5:20). You are deemed narrow minded if you call something sin that the world believes is “normal.” What happens when a Christian suffers for something they didn’t do? They actually receive a blessing. The word bless comes from the Greek markarios which means to be happy or blissful. The implication is that it is a self-contained happiness. That means that it is inherent in the person who is blessed and they are perpetually in a good state of mind. So how is a person blessed when they are hated or insulted?
Jesus was clear that a person is blessed when they are reviled for His name’s sake. In Matthew 5:11 He says, “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.” Peter understood persecution for he surely faced a lot of evil in his day but he didn’t complain. On the contrary he wrote, “If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you” (1 Pet 4:14). I want that! I have many enemies but they really don’t hate me so much as they hate Christ. They hate the message more than the messenger. Jesus said, “Blessed are you when men hate you, when they exclude you and insult you and reject your name as evil, because of the Son of Man” (Luke 6:22). It may get so bad that there may be a time “coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering a service to God” (John 16:2b).
Take heart the next time your character is assassinated, someone speaks evil of you, a person insults you, a co-worker persecutes you…because to be insulted, hated, persecuted, and rejected for Christ‘s sake, “you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you” (1 Pet 4:14b). How great is that?!
May God richly bless you.
Orig. image by Kirsten Blackstock
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