“Blessed are you when men shall revile you and persecute you and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for My sake.  Rejoice and be exceedingly glad—for great is your reward in Heaven, for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.”

Matthew 5:11-12

When our flesh cries out, it’s a signal for our soul to rise up to Him Who has healing in His Hands.

Others can be quite mean at times.  Downright mean.  Sometimes they have “blind spots” and don’t realize their words and/or deeds are so hurtful; other times they know exactly what they’re doing and seem to delight in it.

But, it’s in those times that we must remember the “Secret of Soul-Serenity” and allow the Holy Spirit to hold us close to His Heart.  And, in the process He’ll teach us how to “rejoice and be exceedingly glad” when the easiest thing to do would be to retaliate or seek to vindicate ourselves.

The words used here to describe our mistreatment are strong words indeed:  “Revile (Grk. ‘oneidizo’—‘to chide, defame, taunt, reproach, etc.’). . .persecute (Grk. ‘dioko’—‘relentless pursuit of, press forward, etc.’). . .and say all manner of evil against you falsely.”  And, when you throw in Dr. Luke’s description in Lk. 6:22—“hate you (Grk. ‘miseo’—‘to detest, persecute, act hateful toward, etc.’). . .separate you from their company (don’t want to be around you). . . reproach you (same as ‘revile’). . .cast out your name as evil (slander, backbiting, object of public scorn, etc.’)”—you realize this is more than being the butt of others’ jokes or object of their coffee shop gossip.

It’s intentional and malicious.  And, it’s intended to hurt you as much as possible.

But, do not listen or be wounded by such “fiery darts from the wicked,” dear Pilgrim.  Instead, lift high “the shield of faith” (Eph. 6:17) and let the Savior defend you.  He knows well their thoughts, words and deeds (Jn. 15:18-25) and one day will reward them accordingly if they do not repent (Ps. 2).

Therefore, stay focused on Him (Heb. 12:2) and faithful in the “Race that is set before you” (Heb. 12:1; II Tim. 4:7-8).  By releasing your hurts and heartaches unto Him (I Pet. 5:7) you’ll begin learning how to “rejoice and be exceedingly glad.”  You’ll also learn the “great Reward reserved in Heaven for you” (I Pet. 1:3-4) is also here right now in the form of His near Presence and the pleasure of His smile.  Hallelujah!!

There’s no doubt we’re going to be hurt by others in our pilgrimage of faith.  Such is life in a sinful, fallen world.  The question is “How will we respond to them?”  For sure, the first step is drawing near to Christ (James 4:7-8) and forgiving those who’ve treated us so (Mt. 6:14-15).  The second step is “counting it all joy when such fiery trials come, knowing God will use them for our good and His Glory” (James 1:2-4; Rom. 5:3-4; 8:28; II Cor. 12:9-10).  And, in the midst of them we also realize our “relentless rejoicing” will lead to His “righteous Reward,” which includes His “Joy in the Journey” right now (His Presence) and the Joy that still awaits us when we finally see Him face-to-Face (Mt. 25:21, 23).  Glory!!

By Tom Smith Morning Manna Dated August 6, 2010

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