BEATITUDES | P8 | TRUSTING GOD IN TIMES OF PERSECUTION

     We must remember that Jesus had everybody’s attention, but not everybody’s devotion. Not everybody liked it when God shined His light to reveal their ways.  The world doesn’t like the idea of an absolute moral code, and Christians often bear the brunt of the world’s ire when they are exposed by God's light.  It’s in that time that we remember that trouble is temporary, but heaven is forever. 
     There is no greater evidence of God than for a Christian to trust Him.  And there is no greater test of that trust than in time of persecution, remembering that the cause of your persecution matters.  Blessed are those who are persecuted for ‘righteousness’ not for our own misbehavior.  Let us take hope in God as we suffer for His sake.
Matthew 5:10-12 (NIV2011)
10  Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11  Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12  Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.


Matthew 5:10 (NIV2011)
10  Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness…
Christians confront the world with the reality of God


Hebrews 11:1 (NIV2011)
1 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.


Example: Trust Fall
Example: Modular Units

Evil battles against good

Ephesians 6:10-12 (NIV2011)
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.
11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.
12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.


John 8:44 (NIV2011)
44  You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires…
Ephesians 2:1-2 (NIV2011)
1 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins,
2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.


Example: Putin

2 Corinthians 4:4 (NIV2011) 

4 The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 



The light of truth exposes sin

John 3:19-21 (NIV2011)
19 This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. 20 Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed.
21 But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.


Example: Indiana Jones
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