Have you had something great happen to you? Maybe it was a new job, a big bonus, a new child or grandchild. When something fantastic happens to you, how do you like to celebrate? Do you like to go out to eat, or throw a big party at your house? Recently, the cast of a streaming television show celebrated winning an Emmy by throwing a party that included karaoke, cake and biscuits!* Ok, I’m using the word biscuits like the British do, referring to shortbread cookies!
Let’s change the thought a bit. When you are insulted, persecuted or falsely accused because you follow Jesus, how do you like to celebrate? Wait a second, you don’t celebrate being insulted because you are a Christian? You should! That’s what Jesus said to do. In Matthew 5:11 he said, “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.” (NIV) Now, listen to how the next verse starts. “Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven.” (NIV)
We usually think it is a bad thing when we’re insulted, don’t we? It’s true that being insulted or persecuted because of our faith is unpleasant at best and extremely painful at worst. No one likes the experience! But Jesus says we should see the bigger picture. Rather than focus on the painful experience, we should focus on the great reward in heaven and rejoice!
*Chris Gardner, “Karaoke, Biscuits and Birthday Cake for Jason Sudeikis: How ‘Ted Lasso’ Team Celebrated Emmy Wins,” The Hollywood Reporter, September 20,2021, https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/lifestyle/lifestyle-news/ted-lasso-emmy-wins-afterparty-jason-sudeikis-1235017150/.
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Bumper music “Landing Place” performed by Mark July, used under license from Shutterstock.