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“Blessed are you when people insult you and persecute you, and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me.  Rejoice and be glad, for your reward in heaven is great; for in this same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you” (Matthew 5:11-12).

Do not try to avoid what will happen.  Prepare yourself with the shield of faith.  When something bad happens, the scoffers will ask, “Where is your God?”  The Lord has said that he is with you always.  He has told you that you would suffer for your faith as He suffered for you.  The scoffers are a part of the wickedness in this world.  Do not rejoice over the evil but rejoice that the Lord has called you into His salvation and counted you worthy to suffer for His name’s sake.

Lord, You have told me to take up my cross and follow You.  Help me to do this.  The world would have me fall away from You and just live for this world.  I am pressed all day long from many quarters by the false messages of this world.  Lead me in the way of everlasting life so that I may learn the way of eternity.  When I encounter persecution, teach me how to rejoice in it and be glad.  Guide me always in Your goodness.

Lord Jesus, You have told me this ahead of time.  I know that this will happen.  The scoffers may rail against me, try to beguile me and even take my life.  So what?  I know that the wages of sin is death.  That is what it means to save my hide for a few years, but You offer me eternity.  Guide me in the way I need to live today so that I may walk in it no matter what comes. Lead me to walk steadfastly with You now, always, and into eternity.  Amen.