“Blessed are those who are persecuted” – Matthew 5:10-12

Pastor Bruce Lerum

With commitment comes what may seem to be unpopular choices.

Old friends may look at us differently or even reject us altogether.

“For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body.” – 2 Corinthians 4:11

Until we see God in those unpopular choices, our stress levels may increase.

As those same kinds of choices become second nature, the stress diminishes.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” – John 14:27

When better choices are made and stress is reduced, there is cause to rejoice.

Rejoice and be glad, in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you. 

“Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” Matthew 5:12


Study Questions:

1. It is natural to make choices that are easy and popular. What are some of the reasons that we like being popular?

2. Our oldest and dearest friends know quite a lot about us. In that, there are things they like about us and things they may want to change. What might those changes do to our popularity? To our stress level?

3. God tells us how he wants us to be and following that course would change all of us to some extent. What would that do to our personal choices of friends, habits, and/or speech? How would you or do you handle that socially?

4. Are there changes in life habits that need to occur? If so, what changes?

5. By making choices in light of our relationship with God, others may ridicule or even persecute us. How can we rejoice in that?