This is our last lesson on the Beatitudes, and it ends on a very relatable topic. Matthew 5:10-12 details how blessed and highly favored the persecuted are. Cue joyful music.
Persecution is an offshoot of favor. If you have ever seen a child, or anyone for that matter, being bullied, you know that your heart lunges towards the persecuted one, and you will find yourself seeking them out, comforting them, buying ice cream. (Or is this just me?)
It’s in our spiritual DNA to see those hurting and want to bring comfort. In fact, persecution releases favor the way an olive press releases the oil. When the enemy runs hard after you, he dispatches gullible humans to do his hellish business. And that’s when the eye of heaven turns toward the persecuted one. But there is also this truth; when the Father's favor rests on us, the attention of hell can make us a target. Oh, joy. Can I get an amen with this one?
When we look at the very first murder in history, we see favor on Abel’s life because of his heart toward God. Able had a sincerity to give from a place of sacrifice. Not to outdo Cain, but to love God well. However, this genuine offering that caught the eye of the Father stirred up anger in Cain.
Abel’s perfect gift shined a light on Cain’s lazy offering. So, the best way to get rid of the spotlight was to put it out. However, the death of Able gave us Seth, the very line of Jesus! Could it have been from Able or Cain? Yes. But the story of Seth’s beginning starts with redeeming what Eve had lost, a son. Abel’s death was not wasted; it was invested.
“Blessed [comforted by inner peace and God’s love] are those who are persecuted for doing that which is morally right, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven [both now and forever]. “Blessed [morally courageous and spiritually alive with life-joy in God’s goodness] are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil things against you because of [your association with] Me. Be glad and exceedingly joyful, for your reward in heaven is great [absolutely inexhaustible]; for in this same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”
Matthew 5:10-12 AMP
Jesus is speaking of several prophets- Elijah, Elisha, and Daniel, just to name a few. But let’s peek at Joseph and the persecution he endured because of his prophetic voice and his father's favor. You see, it was the brothers' jealousy that promoted Joseph, but not without its hardships. However, it also created more favor.
The more unfair the circumstance, the more heaven drew near. The Lord was with Joseph. God didn’t remove Joe from the persecution, God walked with Joseph in it, and God walked with Joseph out of it, all the way to the palace. The same way the fourth man waked with Shadrack, Meshack, and Abednego in the fire.
Here is what I have personally experienced in my life: anytime persecution rose, so did God’s standard. When, not if, but when the enemy comes in like a flood, God raises a standard; see Isaiah 59:19 God meets persecution, but not always with rescue, but with His very presence, His favor, and His increase, and this sends the demons running.
God does not take the harassment of the enemy lightly. We are the apple of His eye. But remember, God’s goal is not for us to live eternally on earth; it’s for eternity with Him. His perspective on the longevity of life is much different than ours. Life on earth is but a vapor. Our earth suits have a shelf life. And sadly, those lives can be cut short. Praise God for His promise of heaven. Right?
The gospel was spread with the death of many saints. They were not rescued from the event; they were met in it. The enemy could not stop the outpouring of the Spirit of God. Though satan tries with the attacking and killing of God’s people, it only magnifies the anointing and His reach.
Persecution rips the floor of heaven open and unleashes the power of God in and on our lives. Satan never understood this concept because only a spiritual revelation can make sense out of persecution bringing an increase. The death of Jesus was the release of the Holy Spirit.
The devil tried to crush Jesus, but instead, satan only split open the encasing of heaven and the body that held the power of God. The beatings, whippings, and shredding’s of the flesh of Christ, and the death of his physical being, released His very spirit into us. Therefore, creating carriers of Christ in earthly flesh suits worldwide.
As I write this, I question how satan never figured this out, but then I realize it’s a spiritual law that God wrote. The devil is cunning, but he has no comprehension of this truth because satan lacks what we have- the mind of Christ and the revelation knowledge that comes from the Holy Spirit.
Sis, if you are enduring a season of persecution, by 1. a spiritual warfare attack, 2. satan manipulating your friends or family around you, or 3. just plain, rotten unfair situations.
I want to remind you; God will not waste your pain. Jesus is not an abuser. If you have not been spared from your painful circumstance, it is because our Heavenly Father knows the increase that is coming from the pain. Increase in your anointing, influence, prayers, and walk. Jesus knows that being healed and made whole from the enemy's attacks carries more authority and power than being rescued from it.