Sharing and Suffering
Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you. —Matthew 5:11-12
The greatest comfort for those who suffer from false accusations is given by the words of Scripture. When sufferers are wounded by the lying words of an unbridled tongue, and feel the sharp stings of distress, they can remember the story of Joseph. For Joseph was an example of righteousness while suffering under a slanderous charge. He was imprisoned for invading another man’s bed and spent a long time in a dungeon. When they look at Joseph’s model of purity their pain is eased by the remedy the story provides. They find the same thing when they look at David, who Saul hunted like a tyrant. When David caught his enemy and let him go unharmed, he received comfort in his distress. Then there is the story of the Lord Christ Himself, Maker of the ages, Creator of all things, very God, and Son of the very God. Yet He was called a gluttonous man and a drunkard by the wicked Jews. Christ’s suffering is not only comforting but provides great joy to those who suffer. For they are counted worthy of sharing the sufferings of the Lord.
All Scripture references are taken from the Holy Bible, King James Version. Excerpts from the early Church Fathers are in the public domain, but were organized and arranged for daily reading in Day by Day with the Early Church Fathers, © 1999 by Hendrickson Publishers, Peabody, Massachusetts. (No longer in print). Used by permission and in accordance with sections 3.3, 3.4, and 3.5 of Hendrickson’s “Rights and Permissions”. All rights reserved.
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