Could You Leap For Joy When Rejected?
"Blessed are you when men hate you, and when they exclude you, and revile you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of Man’s sake. Rejoice in that day and leap for joy! For indeed your reward is great in heaven, for in like manner their fathers did to the prophets." Luke 6:22 I don't think I've ever seen a believer come into a room leaping for joy because someone has excluded him or rejected him because he's a believer in Jesus. The words of Jesus are oftentimes stunning. Does he actually expect you to leap for joy when you've been hated or rejected or insulted because of your faith? Well, yes he does - IF you understand that in that rejection there is a corresponding REWARD that will be yours FOR ALL ETERNITY. Many people don't think beyond the moment. Most people don't think much on the subject of heaven. To many it's a place far away, a place different from what we know here, so there's more often fear of the unknown. But Jesus had a lot to say about heaven. It's not a place to fear because of the unknown but rather something to look forward to with all the heart. It's a place where every tear is wiped away, there is no more sadness, a place of exuberant joy - and it's forever. "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love him." 1 Corinthians 2:9 Every person who has received Jesus as his/her Savior and who has submitted his/her life to his Lordship is going to live in heaven for all eternity. And the degree of reward will correspond to what has happened during his/her life on earth. Salvation is free; but eternal rewards are given according to what we've done and according to our responses to the Lord’s leading throughout our lives. If one truly truly understands that, that every trial, every rejection, everything one has endured because of their faith in Jesus Christ is going to bring something in heaven that is so wonderful - if they truly understood it they would verily leap for joy when these things happen to them. In Acts chapter 16, Paul and Silas have been beaten with rods and thrown into prison with their feet fastened in stocks. Now what would you do in a situation like that? Pay attention, because it COULD happen to us as the events of "the last days" play out. It is almost incredible what Paul and Silas did in such a situation. With their backs bleeding and their feet bruised in stocks: "But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God..." Acts 16:25 What?! Praying and singing hymns to God?! In a dank and dark prison? How on earth could they possibly be doing such a thing?! It was because they UNDERSTOOD that it was for the sake of Christ that they were being so maltreated, they UNDERSTOOD that great would be their reward in heaven that will last forever, and the very thought of that gave them so much joy that they burst out in singing. Brothers and sisters, let us emulate these faithful believers when we ourselves experience rejection or insult or hatred because of our faith. Let us leap for joy because of what Jesus has told us about the rewards that will last forever. Let us forgive our oppressors knowing that it is Satan, not man, who comes against us. It's Satan and not man. An enemy is only someone through whom Satan oppresses us, and understanding that - then we can forgive the person and do as Jesus has said. Let us "leap for joy."