How often do we go through life and think that we are blessed with the things that we have or go through because it could be worse? How often do we think that we are blessed when we go through hardships or persecutions? In Matthew’s account on the sermon on the mount, Jesus says (Matt. 5:10–11 KJV) “Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.” Whenever we are persecuted do we count ourselves blessed because someone thought that we showed enough of Christ in us that they felt threatened by the life of righteousness that we are striving to live?
These are very important questions because even when things are not going the way that we have played out in our heads, we are still on this earth, and have opportunities that some people may never experience, and have the opportunity to worship the very Creator Who created everything and gave us a chance to exist. There are examples of people in the Bible that went through great hardships and persecutions both in the New Testament and the Old Testament. Two examples that come to mind right away are Job in the Old Testament and Paul in the New Testament.
Job’s life from the start- Job is very blessed as he had great riches, many livestock, ten children, a wife, friends, and good health. Then all of that was attacked all at once. He lost all of his livestock, which included 7,000 sheep, 3,000 camels, 500 yoke of oxen, and 500 female donkeys. He lost all of his children. He lost his good health, becoming ill and having boils all over his body. His wife who is also going through all of this says that his God is not for him anymore and that he should curse God and die. His friends show up and instead of helping him they practically attack him and say that it is all Job’s fault that all this is happening.
Job lost everything, and instead of turning away from God; which is what Satan was trying to do -as Job 1 and 2 state, he turns to God and worships Him for the Creator and loving God that He is. He lost everything and still remained faithful to God. Could we say that we would remain faithful if we lost everything we had, when the very people whom we trust start attacking us? Many of us would like to say yes. Our aim should be that no matter what this world throws at us we will be ready and be faithful to God.
Then we have Paul, a Christian, who endured many things as well. (2 Cor. 11:23–27 KJV) “Are they ministers of Christ? (I speak as a fool) I am more; in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft. Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren; In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. Paul suffered so much, but he remained faithful to God. Now the question is, with what we go through in our daily lives, will we remain faithful to God and endure the hardships of this life? ‘