Blessed Are Week Eight from Central Women on Vimeo.
Read: We have arrived at the last Beatitude! Jesus has given us the foundation of faith and life to be lived out in Him. All of it is against our nature, for our nature is selfish at best, and it certainly is a polar opposite of what the world tells us. It will not be easy, but it is Truth and part of being in the Kingdom of Heaven. God Himself will help us in every aspect of living in the Kingdom of Heaven; even persecution.
Paul tells us in 2 Timothy 3:12, “Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted.”
If we truly live out Jesus’ teaching in the Beatitudes and are in His will, we will experience suffering and persecution, because of His Word and being His daughters. Now, living in America, we might not experience the severe suffering that the Body of Christ is experiencing in other countries, where it is against the law to be a Christian and or to witness to others. Daily they are being imprisoned and killed. But, regardless, we will still suffer for doing right, no matter where we live. It is how we respond to trivial persecution that will prepare us for more severe suffering and enable us to stand strong and glorify God through our persecution.
We need to be prepared daily with the full Armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-20), living out the Beatitudes with our faith rooted in Christ! We are called to endure suffering with rejoicing, even when we don’t understand it. God will be honored and glorified, and in the process, our hearts are purified and our faith refined.
“You can only grow in persecution what you go into persecution with.” Nik Ripken, The Insanity of God.
Study Questions and Further Reading:
- How does 2 Timothy 3:12 make you feel? Does it give you fear or hope?
- Read 1 Peter 4:12-14, 16, 19. As a believer, what does suffering for Christ do for us and how are we to respond to it?
- Read Acts 8:1, 4; 11:19; 13:48-52. What happened to the early church because of persecution? How does this give you hope today?
Scriptures in video teaching:
Matthew 5:44; 13:20-21; John 15:20; 16:33; Acts 5:41; Romans 8:18; 12:14; 2 Corinthians 4:7-11; Philippians 1:12-14; 2 Timothy 1:8; 3:12; James 1:2-4; 5:10-11; 1 Peter 1:6-7; 2:19, 21; 4:12-14, 16, 19
Lord, help us to endure and rejoice in persecution and that it will not be wasted. Hold us up and give us extra grace and strength in You. Help us to live out the Beatitudes daily and to walk in the Spirit instead of the world. We also pray, dear Jesus, that we will glorify you in our deeds and words. In Jesus’ name, we pray. Amen.