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Rejoice In Trials

And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God.

Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh.

Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man's sake.

Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.

Luke 6: 20-23

Do bad things happen to Christians? What bad things? Luke 6:22 lists some of the bad things that Christians will likely encounter:

  • men shall hate you;
  • men shall separate you from their company. Former friends will want nothing to do with you; will ostracize you;
  • men shall reproach you; express their displeasure or disapproval of you; rebuke you; mock you;
  • men shall cast out your name as evil; say mean and nasty things about you; ridicule your faith in Christ.

Why will these bad things happen? Because you are a Christian, seeking to live a life pleasing to God and in obedience to the commands of Christ. But how should a Christian respond when trials come? Jesus said (verse 22) "Blessed are ye" when these things happen to you. Then in verse 23 Jesus commands his disciples to REJOICE and LEAP FOR JOY.

Are you a disciple of Jesus, a follower of Christ, a born-again believer? How do you react when troubles and trials come into your life?

Note the promise of a reward (verse 23) for Christians who rejoice in trials. Your reward will be in heaven. Your reward will be great. Note there is no promise of a reward here on this earth. How should this affect the prayers of a Christian when trials come? Should a Christian pray and ask God to take away the trial(s)? The answer is NO. How then should a Christian pray in relation to trials? The answer is to praise and thank God that He has found us worthy to share in the fellowship of Christ’s sufferings. Let us rejoice and leap for joy. It is an honor to be associated with Christ and to share in His sufferings. In his letter to the Philippians, the Apostle Paul encourages his fellow Christians to rejoice in the Lord (3:1). In Phillipians 3:10 Paul expresses his burning desire to know Christ, to experience the mighty power that raised Christ from the dead, and that he might know the fellowship of Christ’s sufferings. Paul was expressing his desire to suffer with Christ, to share His sufferings. Likewise, when trials come, we ought to rejoice that we can share in Christ’s sufferings.

What has happened to the Christian who cannot rejoice and leap for joy when trials come? Such a Christian is more concerned about the approval and acceptance of men than in obtaining the great reward in heaven. When trials come, don’t dwell on the trials. Think ahead. Focus on the promised reward for those who will joyfully accept the fellowship of Christ’s sufferings.

Dr. Russell Harpur

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