If you diligently obey the LORD your God, being careful to do all His commandments which I command you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. — Deuteronomy 28:1 NASB
We all have those days when we feel like the stuffing has been beaten out of us. Without even realizing we’d entered a boxing ring, we’ve been punched in the gut and our nose has been bloodied. How can so many things be going sideways all at once when we have been diligently trying to obey God and follow His commandments? Rather than trying to formulate an answer, we remember that He who committed no sin had it even worse: He was betrayed, flogged, mocked, and crucified.
When we are feeling bruised and beaten, we need to remind ourselves that the Lord has been in the boxing ring with us.
He knows the blows we’ve taken, some because of our obedience to His commands. He has taken His own blows, as His hands and side attest. Yet even now He — who defeated sin and death — is lifting us up and will set us high above all nations.
Lord, when I’m feeling bruised and beaten, help me to remember that You are in the boxing ring with me, which gives me peace. Amen.
Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven. — Matthew 5:10 NIV
When we are doing something good — when we are choosing wisely, doing the job that no one else will do, helping someone at a substantial personal cost of time, energy, or finances — why do we suffer? It doesn’t seem fair that the people who treat others as they themselves would like to be treated are the ones with a target on their backs. But
persecution doesn’t care about fair.
Jesus taught that His followers who are persecuted for His sake and because they are living according to His ways are blessed. Yet when we experience persecution because of our faith, we feel anything but blessed. When we’re lied about, framed, betrayed, or mistreated, we can still find peace in God’s presence with us and peace as we look to the future. After all, His promise is that those who suffer for Christ’s sake possess the riches of God’s kingdom.
So take comfort, for the result of this battle is sure: God wins. And when He does — when Jesus returns as King of kings — the Lord will bless you greatly and give you an abundance of peace.
I hardly feel blessed or at peace, but I cling to the Matthew 5:10 promise: Your Kingdom is mine because I’ve suffered for Your sake. Amen.
Excerpted with permission from 365 Devotions for Peace by Cheri Cowell, copyright Zondervan.
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Are you feeling beaten up? Targeted? Mistreated? Remember Who has been there and understands. Remember who is right there with you. Jesus Himself is with us and with Him He brings peace. Are you in need of peace? Rest in His presence and receive it. Come join the conversation on our blog. We want to hear from you about experiencing peace even when there’s a target on your back! ~ Devotionals Daily