Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness,
for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

“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

Matthew 5: 10-12a

 

In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted,

2 Timothy 3:12

 

 

Is that what happened to me? Was I persecuted because I was living a godly life? I hope that’s true. Knowing that would make the suffering easier to bear. It would mean I’m a child of God – in fellowship with Christ.

Or was it because I tried – as much as possible – to live a righteous life? Jesus was against those who lived with pride, prejudice, and hatred. He came to expose their sin, and the world hated him for that. It will hate his followers too, and the things they stand for. Is that why I was disliked so much?

I lived with mental illness and emotional problems. But I loved Jesus, and though people hurt me, I never took my eyes off him. I never stopped telling others about him. I never stopped passing on his love to those who needed it.

Because we suffer so much, people with problems like mine are often closer to God than those who are healthier. We need him more. We are dedicated, committed to our faith. Is that why I was disliked by others?

But because those like me are not understood or respected, we sometimes annoy the people around us. This happens when we’re not even aware. Some people find us difficult to get along with, even when we’re as godly as anyone else.

And so, we’re considered “different.” People who are not as real as others. Not equal. Not liked.

But God, our Father in heaven blesses us never-the-less. “Rejoice and be glad,” Jesus said, “because great is your reward in heaven.”

marja