Rev. Mike Slaughter once said that others have wondered about his hard work in ministry as he helps the needy and works among those who do not have faith. He said that he is happy to be in those challenging situations. He said that he is glad to stand at the gates of Hell because that is where Jesus will triumph.
Whenever we are in a challenging situation, surrounded by the hardships of life and outside the comforts of our family of faith and place of worship, we should be glad. In that place of trial we are in the presence of Christ and we are surrounded by the Lord’s strength.
This passage is part of “The Sermon on the Mount.” What encouragement does Jesus offer those who feel persecuted? What does he say about suffering insults and accusations? What can we expect?
A common misconception is that every problem should cause us happiness. That is not completely true and accurate. The hardships that should cause rejoicing are the trials we experience when we do the good work of God.
As we deal with people outside the church, people who are not familiar with the love and grace of God, we should expect some opposition. The love and mercy that we are to show to others seems to defy the logic most people employ. Instead of welcoming this love and grace many people are confused by it and seem to reject it.
If we strive to do the work of God we can expect that there will be those who will work to stop it. We may have to face those who will persecute us, criticize us, even make up false claims about us – anything to get us to stop.
If we are working for God and our intentions are holy and good, then we must press on with the good work we are doing. And as we soldier on in the kingdom of God we should do it with a glad heart, knowing that God will richly bless us and provide for us even in the worst of times. When we are in the midst of challenges because of holiness we are also in the midst of Christ.
DAILY CHALLENGE: What can remind you of Christ’s presence even in the midst of hardships?