In Mathew 5:10 -12, Jesus tells us 10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
I have taken a little time to write this post. It is very uncomfortable to think about persecution as part of God's plan for Christians. I would like to believe that by becoming a Christian, and with enough faith, I could live a comfortable life without any problems. However, This message of prosperity and comfort is for the T.V. preachers, but it is not the message of Jesus. He doesn't promise us a cushy, comfortable life, He promises us that one day we will live with God in Heaven.
If you read these verses closely, you will notice that Jesus has put some qualifiers in His statement. Christians are called to live model lives, the accusations of evil against us must be false. I have seen in my life time a lot of church leaders, and teachers fall back into sin and have been disgraced, and ridiculed publicly. That persecution my friends is not worthy of being blessed. The persecution that is blessed comes from mirroring our lives after Jesus. Jesus tells us to let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. (Mathew 5:16) In the church's history, those who have been unjustly persecuted in the name of Christ have demonstrated the good deeds of which Jesus speaks.
Because we are living in a sinful world, everyone, Christian and atheist alike, must face trials and hardships. How we deal with those trials and hardships is a sign of where our faith and hope is placed. When we as Christians are falsely accused as a result of our faith, God can use our response as testimony of His power to change lives. While we may wish that we could live cushy, comfortable lives. We should not be suprised if we find ourselves being persecuted because of our relationship with God. In John 16:33 (NIV) Jesus tells us, "In this world you will have trouble , but take heart I have overcome this world....... Amen