“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” (Matthew 5:11-12 NIV).
When we follow Jesus, we will face trouble. The Bible says that’s guaranteed. You’ll be harassed, persecuted, rejected, and ridiculed because of your faith.
But that’s not the end of the story. The Bible also says that Jesus endured the torture of the cross “for the joy set before him.”
You, too, must focus on your future reward if you want to get through your temporary troubles.
Imagine the scene at the end of history. Everyone who has ever lived will one day kneel before Jesus Christ. Everyone will say, “Jesus is Lord.” Some will praise him because they’ve done so all their lives. Others will praise him in judgment to themselves because they’ve denied him all their lives.
Every professor who ridiculed you because of your faith will one day praise Jesus. Every friend who tried to convince you to abandon your faith will praise him. Every entertainer who made a mockery of his name will praise him. Every politician who opposed his ways will one day praise him.
The Bible describes it like this: “Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Philippians 2:9-11 NIV).
Everyone will one day bow before Jesus.
At that time God will also reward you for staying true to him despite the harassment and criticism you face for your faith today.
Jesus said, “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” (Matthew 5:11-12 NIV).
Whenever you face persecution, you’re in the same category as Daniel, Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Moses.
Just like those great prophets of old, you’ll one day experience an eternity with God, full of unimaginable joy. The harassment, persecution, rejection, and ridicule you face now for Jesus’ sake won’t compare to the reward of eternity with God.
Talk It Over
- When has harassment, persecution, rejection, or ridicule drawn you closer to Jesus?
- What temporary troubles are you facing right now that are distracting you — or could distract you — from your future reward?
- Why can keeping future rewards in mind help you deal with difficulties in this world?