October 28: The Applause of Heaven (Matt 5:10-12)
Matthew 5:10-12: "Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you."
Of all the beatitudes, this one seems the most counterintuitive: "Blessed are those who are persecuted for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." Jesus is encouraging his people in the midst of suffering to rejoice. Scripture is clear that in this world we will have trouble and that all who want to live a godly life will suffer. Jesus calls his people to look forward to a glory that will be revealed that is so great that its beauty shines back into this life, motivating us to be found faithful in the midst of trial. Those who faithfully endure the suffering with this motivation in mind, earn for themselves an eternal reward and the applause of heaven.