Matthew 6:20 New International Version (NIV)
But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.
We’re living in what some have called a post-Christian world. We live in a country that has by and large moved on from the guiding principles of the Bible and a fundamental belief in God to the gods of self and a widespread epidemic of social narcissism. If you’re finding it hard to stay on the narrow path, you’re not alone. It’s hard to keep a positive perspective when the rest of the crowd is heading in the other direction.
Matthew 5:11 New International Version (NIV)
11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.
When you hold fast to your faith and are ridiculed for being a Christian or harassed for believing God’s Word above man’s word, the Bible says you are blessed. Another word for blessed in this context is fortunate. Did I really say fortunate? Yes! Peter and the other apostles were beaten and jailed for preaching the Gospel but they rejoiced because they were counted worthy of suffering for the Name of Jesus (Acts 5:41). They didn’t hold a pity party for being despised. On the contrary, it made their day. Persecution was a sign that they were counted worthy. Now that’s something worth tapping into!
It’s all about perspective. Even though our troubles might seem insurmountable, the truth is that the troubles that we have in this world are just grains of sand on the beach of eternity. The apostles knew that the reward waiting for them was worth any amount of trouble they might experience. Their perspective was radically different because of their faith and hope. Instead of looking at persecution as something they were receiving, they looked at it as something they were depositing. What a critical difference in perspective!
Philippians 3:8 New International Version (NIV)
What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ.
When you look at persecution through the lens of faith, loss becomes gain and curse becomes blessing. With this kind of attitude you can persevere in a hostile world that drifts farther from God every day. Turn your “momentary light affliction” (2 Corinthians 4:17) into a deposit of treasure into your account in heaven that can never be lost.