Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
Thoughts on today's verse
For most who can read this Internet message, the sentiments of this verse seem foreign. But among those who closely study persecution, believers in Christ are enduring perhaps the greatest amount of persecution in the history of Christianity. For those of us who live in cozy places where belief is tolerated and Christians are just considered "unhip" or a bit out of touch, we need to be thankful that our lives make enough of a distinction from our culture to be noticed, even if it's a bit unfavorably. But at the same time, we need to pray for other believers throughout the world who are undergoing the wrath of hell for the faith.
Great Deliverer, we have many who call on your name with faith in Jesus who face persecution and hardship every day. I pray that they will not lose heart and give up their confidence. I pray that you will bring deliverance from this time of persecution. I pray that their sufferings will be the source of powerful witness so others will come to see the great value of Jesus and our allegiance to him. This I pray in his precious and holy name. Amen.