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Amanda Beth

Monday’s Blog: Blessed Are Those Who Are Persecuted

We continue our series on the Beatitudes with Matthew 5:10, “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

One of Strong’s definitions for persecuted in this verse is, “to make to run or flee, put to flight, drive away.”

Persecution is simply opposition from the devil to try and prevent us from doing the will of God.

Anyone who follows Christ will be persecuted. Jesus said, “Remember the words I spoke to you: ‘No servant is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also” (John 15:20).

Most of us haven’t experienced physical persecution like the early church experienced, and even some still experience today. But it doesn’t mean we are not persecuted in other ways.

When I followed God’s plan to write my book about His will for our marriages and families, the devil tried to stop me in many different ways. I had never experienced such strong opposition before I started writing this book. He attacked my marriage by trying to turn my husband against me. He attacked my children through disobedience. Discipline that worked well in the past no longer worked.

He attacked my family’s health. For almost six months straight we were hit with odd sicknesses; soars even the doctors couldn’t diagnose. He attacked our finances. The first year of writing the book everything seemed to break down. Our cars broke down four consecutive times in a row to where it drained our bank account to nothing. And I think the cars would have continued breaking down if we hadn’t decided to stop fixing them.

He turned family members, friends, and my church against me. Even those I sought assistance in publishing, that didn’t even know me, he turned against me, as they were extremely hateful toward me.

But the most dangerous persecution I think I experienced was the great attack on my heart. From the constant rejection and let down from others, especially Christians, my heart was in danger of hardening.

Chuck Balsamo experienced similar attacks while writing his book, “Make Me a Legend.

He wrote: “In May 2009, I told my wife, ‘I am so let down with people right now. I feel like a kid who is afraid of the dark. It seems like the shadows are stalking me. I am paralyzed with fear of who is going to stab me next! And you know what scares me even more than that? I am petrified to think about how this ghastly betrayal might be permanently damaging my heart. I don’t want to hate people. I don’t want to wish for the death of my enemies. Dear God, this is not a little thing. I am fighting for my life!’”

The Bible warns us, “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life” (Proverbs 4:23, NLT).

The devil will attack our hearts more than anything else. He knows we will follow our hearts wherever they lead us. We are dangerous to his plan when our hearts are filled with Christ’s love.

Ironically, the same persecution that was meant to drive me away from the will of God is what motivated me to press on and allow God to heal my heart. Knowing I was being attacked, confirmed I was speaking the truth and obeying God’s will. The devil wouldn’t have tried so hard to shut me up if I wasn’t a threat to him. This made me more eager to complete the book and share God’s Word. And it’s helping me press through the obstacles he throws at me now that the book is published.

In her book, “The Real You,” Misty Gatlin shared this quote from Lisa Bevere: “Sometimes the enemy is more aware of who you are than you are aware of who you are, and he attacks you out of fear of who you might be.”

Misty expressed, “The enemy does not want you to be the person you were created to be because that person is powerful and scary to him. That’s right. You scare Satan!”

We don’t need to cower in fear over persecution. We can use it to motivate us to continue doing the will of God, so we can reach others and receive our reward.

Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt at all by the second death.

Revelation 2:11

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**Prayer for the week**

Heavenly Father,

We praise You for not allowing anything the devil throws at us crush us. We are more than conquerors through Christ. Help us to guard our hearts when people turn against us. We know they are not rejecting us, they are rejecting You, Lord. Help us to press on through persecution and run our race with joy, knowing we will receive a great reward.

In Jesus’s Name, Amen!

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*Come back next Monday as I share more of God’s Truths and the reasons behind the Truths.

*All Bible verses are taken from the NIV, unless otherwise noted.

 


 

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12 comments on “Monday’s Blog: Blessed Are Those Who Are Persecuted

  1. Thank you for using this quote from my book, and thank you so much for sharing. I’ve been thinking about this a lot lately, and I was actually planning on posting something similar this week.

    I am currently being attacked in the very area that I write and speak about to girls. It has hit, and it has hit hard. Words are getting to me, when they don’t typically, and they’re coming from students, strangers, and worst of all– my own head.

    Thank you so much for sharing this! Feel free to use words from my writing anytime!

  2. Amanda Beth on said:

    Thanks, Misty. My marriage and parenting were attacked the most while writing my book on marriage and parenting. The devil wants to steal our witness. So he attacks us in the area we preach. I can’t tell you how many times I wanted to delete the file of my book because of all the marriage and parenting problems I was experiencing. Even now when my husband and I have a fight, the words “hypocrite” pops in my head. If I don’t cast it down, it destroys my confidence and keeps me from pressing on. The devil wants you to think your message is a lie. He attacks your confidence and makes you think you are a hypocrite. God led me to Hebrews 10:35-36 from the start and told me not to let the enemy steal my confidence.
    “So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised.”
    God’s got great plans for your ministry. I’ll be praying for you:) God bless you!

  3. Dr. Ann on said:

    This is a moving and thoughtful experience you’ve shared with us. And be encouraged! God really does have great plans for your ministry and He will use your uplifting spirit to do the work of His hands. He’s always at work – what a relief to know, right?! Many blessings, and I look forward to reading more! ~ Ann

  4. Pingback: Monday’s Blog: Blessed Are Those Who Are Persecuted | audible-bible.com

  5. Thank you for your words. It’s good to know that it’s not just me. “Hypocrite” has come to mind so often. Thanks for sharing this scripture.

  6. Amanda Beth on said:

    You’re welcome! It’s a blessing to know I’m not alone in this:)

  7. Amanda Beth on said:

    Thanks for the encouraging words, Ann! I love your website, by the way. It’s great to connect with others who are passionate about godly marriages. I look forward to your posts as well. God bless your ministry:)

  8. Chuck Balsamo on said:

    Powerful!!!

  9. Kerry Johnson on said:

    Hi Amanda,

    Wow. I can so relate to this post. And as far as feeling like a hypocrite, many times as or right after I write a blog post, I deal precisely with what I’m writing about. About a year ago I wrote an article/post on my blog about taming our tongue, “Tongue in Cheek,” and when I reread it I really do cringe. It’s the hardest thing for me to control and I certainly can’t do it of my own strength.

    I can also SO relate to this post. God gave me the main character and plot for my first book in mid-2008 (Born, Again has a strong pro-life message/theme), and literally the next month (June 2008) began the most difficult time in my life – months and months of debilitating panic and anxiety. I’d never experienced anything like it. I did see a natural Chiropractor about the illness (since I didn’t want to be on drugs for the anxiety) and he did find a natural cause (no cortisol in my body). Still, it was still an eye-opening experience and I realized later that it was an attack from Satan. He still tries to use my worry and anxiety to derail my writing and life. Praise the Lord that GREATER is HE WHO IS IN ME THAN he who is in the world!

    Keep at it! You are speaking God’s truth and touching many others through your words. If I don’t talk with you before Christmas, so glad we connected on FB and thankful for the godly wisdom you’ve passed on. I pray you and your family have a BLESSED Christmas!
    Kerry

  10. Amanda Beth on said:

    Hi Kerry! I am so glad I am not the only struggling with the same things I preach on. Your book sounds great! Keep at it and don’t give up. God won’t let you, trust me, I tried:) It’s such a blessing to know you. I pray God blesses you and your family in a mighty way this Christmas:)

    Chuck, thanks for letting me use your powerful quote. Your book is helping me in so many ways. I will continue to go back through it over and over again. There is so much to learn from it. Thank you for pressing on and completing it. God bless you my new friend in Christ:)

  11. Mark Hunter on said:

    I have to echo much that has been said here. Often the posts and thoughts I share myself on my own blog are based on my deepest struggles, thoughts and crisis of confidence. It is truly a test to maintain the walk with Jesus but it was never meant to be easy was it? The rewards for completing the tasks we have been set are worth the struggle even if it doesn’t seem like it at the time. Once again a thought provoking yet inspiring post from you.

  12. Amanda Beth on said:

    Thanks for your uplifting comment, Mark! Yes, it’s not easy, but so rewarding when we don’t give up. Bless you in your walk with Christ:)

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