Today’s devotion is based on Matthew 5:10-12. “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way, they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
Jesus said these words in the Sermon on the Mount. We know they are true because he said them. We accept them when we are blessed, but I would say that we don’t accept them when people speak harshly to us or abuse us because of our faith in Jesus.
It is not easy to say, “I am blessed.” by God. It does not feel right at all. The problem is that we believe that we must feel blessed to be blessed by God. Blessedness comes from knowing that we are living in God’s Kingdom while living in the kingdom of the world. Because of that, you don’t have to stand your ground by returning evil for evil and abuse with abuse. On the contrary, you have received so many blessings from God that you have blessings to share with those who talk badly or abuse you because of your faith in Jesus.
Please pray with me the prayer for today: Heavenly Father, creator, and sustainer of all things seen and unseen, help me always to see what a privilege it is to know that I am blessed because of your love and forgiveness you continually bestow on me for the sake of Jesus. Help me to remember your forgiveness toward me so that I can forgive others. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.