Matthew 5:11-12 – Blessed are you when you are mocked and persecuted and have all sorts of evil words uttered against you falsely for my sake. Rejoice and be exceeding glad, for great in number are your rewards in Heaven; for in the same way, they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
We may understand these two verses as an expansion of the persecution of righteousness introduced in verse 10. Anytime we are walking in obedience to the Word of God and doing those things He has purposed for our lives, then we are doing righteousness. What we must come to terms with is the inevitability of how we will indeed be persecuted for righteousness. The reproaches men reproach God with will fall on all those who follow God. The real source behind the persecution of God the Father, His Son Jesus, and the Holy Spirit – and all those who follow God – are demon spirits.
Unfortunately, undiscerning men participate with these voices of accusation against Christ Jesus and those who He has anointed. We must recognize how in this world we will have tribulation; but at the same time, we can rejoice knowing Jesus has conquered the world (John 16:33, 15:20). Even though demon spirits and men would attempt to run interference with all of the promises and blessings of God, they cannot succeed if we will stand fast. Our responsibility is to continue to prophesy and boldly proclaim the Word of God.
What we must be aware of is the attempt of the satanic realm to destroy the seed of God’s Word that would take root and produce fruit in our lives and in the lives of those who would hear us. Jesus likened persecution to the sun scorching a newly germinated seed that had not yet taken root (Matthew 13:6, 21). If we will become more aware of the battle we face and the determination of our foe, then perhaps we will hold more tightly to the Word of God and with greater boldness hold fast our confession without wavering knowing He is faithful Who has promised (Hebrews 10:23). Satan will attempt to use every resource at his disposal to run interference with the will of God; but if we will hold fast to the Word of faith and take up the weapons of our warfare, then we will demolish every obstacle and find how no weapon formed against us can prosper.
Pastor Mark Spitsbergen