When I was running long distance in track, I would sometimes
get a severe pain in my side.

The coach always told me, "Focus on the goal, and the pain
will be less."

Matt 5:11-12
11 Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute
you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely,
for my sake.
12 Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward
in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which
were before you.

LIGHT from the WORD.

Jesus KNEW that there was great pain from being despised,
rejected, and rumored against.
He knew it first-hand.
Yet, His eyes were always on the goal!

He would pay the penalty for OUR sins, die, be buried and
yet He would RISE AGAIN!

THAT'S how He could always be HAPPY!

Now here, Jesus gives us Christians a directive to live as HE DID!

This is the SECOND statement about realizing blissful happiness
when being persecuted.
The first was about being persecuted for "righteousness sake."
This one is about being persecuted for JESUS' sake!

When we are being persecuted because we stand for Jesus and
for righteousness, we should be rejoicing in our spirit!
First, because we KNOW Jesus is WITH us!
Second, because we are given a GREAT reward!

I don't know about you; but I consider
that the great reward OF heaven is enough!
But Jesus says, when we endure persecution for Him
we will have a great reward IN heaven!

That's a TREMENDOUS goal!!
FOCUS on it, and the pain of persecution will be less!!

Heb 12:1-2
1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so
great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight,
and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with
patience the race that is set before us,
2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith;
Who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross,
despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand
of the throne of God."

Love ya!
Bro. Bruce