"Blessed are you when they revile you, and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so persecuted they the prophets who were before you." Matt. 5:11,12(NKJV)

Rejection. Nobody likes the way it feels. Unfair treatment. How that makes us seethe! False accusations. Is anything more frustrating or infuriating than being falsely accused?

Yet these were the things that Jesus endured. And those things lay ahead for His Apostles. They would be maligned. Their words would be twisted. Their character assaulted. They would pay such a heavy toll. And for what? Telling the truth! Sharing the gospel!

Jesus let them know that they would not be the first to suffer such indignities. So did Moses. So did Elijah. So did Jeremiah. So did John the Baptist. The unregenerate world has seldom treated those representing God and truth with any dignity or respect. The Apostles were not the first to suffer for the cause. Nor were they the last. The pages of church history are red with the blood of martyrs. They are also replete with the stories of men and women who suffered imprisonment, rejection, ridicule, abandonment, and every form of opposition imaginable.

So, if I suffer a little for my faith, if it costs me a friend or two, or puts me in a place of ridicule or harsh criticism, then I am in good company. Let me gladly bear the brunt of rejection for my Lord. He bore so much more for me.

A Prayer For Today: "Heavenly Father, I pray for the grace to bear whatever must be borne for Your sake. Give me a martyr's spirit, but not a martyr's complex. Let me not feel sorry for myself, Lord. Help me to live for You with gladness and thanksgiving. Amen."