Matthew 5:11-12 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

We normally don’t feel blessed when certain people seem to just have a  vendetta against us.  It’s even harder to deal with when it’s people we know or people who know us. We find it hard to not defend ourselves and lash out.  Oddly enough we never see our confrontations with others as “persecution”.  But think about this, the Holy Spirit is at work within us is changing us.  This does not erase our past from everybody else’s mind and in most cases, our past is how they will always see us. What others hate to admit to your face but in private is that something is different about you.  Sometimes they know you are a Christian and sometimes they are not really sure.  But one thing is for sure, God has his hands on you.  The mind of the flesh will alway attribute some character trait or break you have had.  But whatever it is, they don’t like it.  What they are left with is the old you and the new you; and it doesn’t make sense.  So they set out to make your life hell or just not like you and tell everyone else to not like you.
Funny thing is, it’s all of God’s work and it is the reflect of the Holy Spirit that is the last straw for the enemy.  To them the old you shouldn’t be where you are in life.  The old you should be in the same spot as them. Yet the presence of the Holy Spirit is a witness to them having no excuse. God’s hands on the believer convicts the sinner because they are in constant judgement in your presence. The conviction is not by what the believer say but by what God is doing for them in spite of the believer’s past.  What you hear in the background as they persecute you is, “if I wanted to I could do all that too”.  The persecutor becomes satan before the throne accusing Job.

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