“Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” Matthew 5:11-12
The concept of suffering for the name of God is often something that is a struggle for many, including myself. We often think that when we become a follower of Christ that we are going to have a great life on Earth and that things are going to go our way. Usually, when things do not go the way we want and we struggle, our blame goes towards God. The truth of the matter is that this is something that is never promised to us. Instead, it is promised to us that we are blessed when we do suffer for the name of the Lord.
There is a sense of boldness that needs to come from the believer. Instead of running from the opposition, we are to stay strong and be bold for the Lord. When we are following God and living our lives the way that He has commanded us to, the enemy will begin to target us. Satan sees the light of God shining in our lives and he is going to do anything and everything in his power to exterminate this light. People will try to test our character and lead us out of the path of light and lead us towards darkness. We are meant to stand firm against this adversary and push the name of God. Arthur W. Pink states, “Having deliberately chosen to suffer with Christ rather than enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season, we shall also reign with Him, according to His own sure promise.”
This is something that is not for the faint of heart. This is a time in our life that we cannot make it through on our own. It is during times like these that we must lean on God for guidance and for Him to give us the strength and endurance to persist. This is a time that if we try to enter this fight alone, we will crumble and succumb to the temptation of the enemy.
In my own life, I struggled with this. We live in a world that around every corner we are being tested and tempted by the enemy. This is not something that stops at any point until we are in the presence of our Savior. I remember my time in college and seeing and hearing things that would continuously test me and try to pull me away from the plans God had laid out for me. It was not easy to stay strong and resist, but the ending of this verse serves as a great reminder that when we do remain strong, we should rejoice and be glad because the treasures that are waiting for us in Heaven are much greater than any “treasures” we think that we can receive in this world.