Rejoice in that day and leap for joy!
For indeed your reward is great in heaven,
For in like manner their fathers did to the prophets.
This is a continuation from my past blog, Blessed are you when men hate you.
Jesus is saying rejoice when you are living a life for my sake, when people hate you, when you’re mocked and excluded. Be happy amid persecution. Again, naturally this seems impossible; Spiritually its possible. I can write about this because I have gone through it. Even when my wife and I are going through persecution, the first thing we do is pray, and prayer turns into rejoicing for what He is doing in our lives. When I spend time with God, my heart rejoices and my heart rejoices because I know God is in control.
I rejoice in the Lord always, and again I say rejoice. He is my strength and Rock. I pray that in all circumstances; God is your Rock, you learn to lean on Him, and be joyful in the middle of persecution.
Rejoicing through persecution is difficult to do. It’s letting go of everything you are. You’re losing your rights to who you are, your emotions, thoughts, actions, beliefs, and you are allowing the Holy Spirit to be in control of your life. I can hear someone ask, how can that be? Why would you not defend yourself for something that someone has done to me?
I’m reminded of when Jesus was in the garden of Gethsemane. Jesus knew what he was about to confront was going to be difficult. He said, “thy will be done”. He was prepared to go through the persecution for His Father and trust Him. Even though Jesus asked God for the cup to pass over, Jesus could have called on the Angels or God to rescue Him. He didn’t! This is what we need to do, we need to work through our persecutions, rejoice in God, and allow God to do His work no matter how much it hurts. It is difficult.
You will know when you have reached a place of joy when you can rejoice in all circumstances, because you have a peace in your heart, and you are allowing God to do His work. You may not see it straight away. God will not take back His promises, and no matter the circumstances, you need to put yourself into His hands. Those who trust in God, God will fight for you. Exodus 14:14.
I remember when I played sport; I received an award. Some work places reward their staff with bonuses and have a work break up to say thank you for a job well done. In this scripture; Jesus said that our reward is in heaven. We will not see it straight away; we will see it when we meet our Lord and Saviour Jesus. How good is that; the reward is everlasting and it will be forever.
Walking in the path of Jesus is no easy feat. Being persecuted isn’t easy. I have spoken about letting go in this blog and in other blogs. It requires us to relent from everything about us; who I am, my ambitions, my thoughts, feelings, emotions and those I am close too. The prophets of the Old testament relented from who they are. They spoke what God told them to speak; they had an obligation to speak the very thoughts of God. Hebrews 11:36-40 states they were tortured, faced jeers, they received a flogging, put in chains, fled to caves, imprisoned, put to death by stoning, sawed in two, and killed by the sword. We need to do what God has called us to do, and that’s to share the name of Jesus with no fear, and live a life that God has called us to.