Matthew 5:11-12 “God blesses you when people mock you and persecute you and lie about you and say all sorts of evil things against you because you are my followers. Be happy about it! Be very glad! For a great reward awaits you in heaven. And remember, the ancient prophets were persecuted in the same way.
Dear God, I think that 21st century Americans misinterpret the meaning of blessing. This passage, for example, says that you will bless me if people persecute me and lie about me for my faith. We’d like to think that means, Oh boy! Someone is picking on me for my faith. It’s present time!! But that’s not the blessing you give and it’s not the present we should want.
The presents you give are love, joy, peace, gentleness, faithfulness, kindness, patience, and self control. When we are pressed, that enables you to manifest the fruits of the Spirit in us. Without struggling to submit ourselves to you it is hard to ever develop these gifts.
Father, I am about to meet a group of people with whom I am about to spend the next 6 days. I have no idea what is in store for me socially with them or physically on this tour we are about to do. But I simply ask that you help me turn loose of my neediness to be liked and help me to simply represent you in the absolute most loving way that I can.
In Jesus’ name I pray,