Thursday, May 04, 2006

Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven

A hungry baby will cry for milk. We also should be hungry to learn what God wants us to do. The Bible tells us of the things that please God, and that is where we get our spiritual "food".

This means that we will be filled with great joy when we discover that we are living God’s goodness so well that people sometimes tease us, or make fun of us, or are mean to us because of that goodness. It is not always easy to be good or do the right thing. It is especially hard if our friends say bad things to us, or about us, because we want to obey what the Bible teaches us about honesty and love and good deeds.

When others try to make us suffer for who we are, that is called “persecution.” Some- times persecution even comes in the form of our own thoughts. These thoughts might suggest to us that being good can sometimes bring us trouble, and maybe it is more fun being bad. These suggestions and lies are not from God, we must replace them with Truth. God gives us the truth to help us defend ourselves against the persecution that may come to us because of our efforts to be good and true.

Think back to the first Beatitude, those who are “poor in spirit” are also promised “the kingdom of heaven” as a reward. Being “poor in spirit” and feeling “persecuted” are both attitudes that cause us to turn to God in prayer for help.

Through prayer, we gain a sense of the presence and power of God. We learn that we are cared for by God. We learn that heaven is ours because it is right within our own thinking! This feeling of being at home with God in heaven is the reward for those who are persecuted for all the good and right things they do.

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