Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for the kingdom of heaven is theirs. (Matthew 5:10)
Righteousness is favor with God. Because the world resists God, it will also resist all those who pursue the righteousness of God. But persecution from the world is a sign that our faith is genuine. It means that our internal pursuit of God has made its way into our outer life and we are beginning to bear fruit. When we are persecuted because of our faith, God always notices and promises to bless. So we should not fear worldly persecution, but rejoice in the favor of God.
Because Christian life is eminently practical, it must be lived-out in real time and in real situations. The choices that we make reveal the measure of our faith. In fact, other people will judge the validity of our faith not only by our words by our actions. Sometimes, others will even instigate a problem to see if our faith is genuine, to test if we will truly live by faith or bow to worldly pressure. When this happens, we should never fear, but rejoice in the opportunity of giving honor to God.
Lord, I desire a faith that is genuine. Help me to see times of challenge as opportunities to honor you. Help me to never cave in to worldly pressure, but to honor you in all matters of my life. Let me never fear persecution but rejoice in it as a sign of the authenticity of my faith.