11 “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you. (Matthew 5:11-12)
Persecution for faith in Christ not only occurs through bodily threats and the actual infliction of physical harm. It can also come in the form of lies and defamatory words designed to accuse and discredit. Jesus was accused of having a demon and being insane (John 10:20). A king told the apostle Paul he was “mad” although he spoke “words of truth and reason” (Acts 26:22-25). Instead of being silenced by defamation, faithful Christians rejoice “to be counted worthy to suffer shame for His name” (Acts 5:41). Jesus endured the reviling of sinners for our sake. Now, let us endure the harsh words of sinners for His sake. Rejoice; you have a great reward in heaven.