When you are insulted, persecuted, or slandered for your full surrender to Christ, do you endure or give up? The source of the insults might be a spouse, co-worker, friend, or foe. In any event, he is threatened by full surrender to Christ because he doesn’t want to surrender something. When this hardship for our faith comes, we often attempt to satisfy our desires by giving up. In His eighth secret to satisfaction, Jesus gave us a different way: “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:10).
Who are satisfied? Those who endure persecution for full surrender to Christ are satisfied. “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness” (Matthew 5:10). Those who are blessed are those who are persecuted for Christ’s righteousness, not their own. If we have never been persecuted for our righteousness in Christ — our full surrender to Him — then we might not be fully surrendered. Wholly devoted people boldly advance the kingdom of God through evangelism and discipleship, and at some point, they are persecuted by others (Matthew 10:22; Philippians 1:29; 2 Timothy 3:12).
Enduring persecution flows from the heart of Christ (John 6:27). When Jesus was insulted, He did not retaliate; when He suffered, He made no threats. Instead, He entrusted Himself to God (1 Peter 2:23). Jesus considered it joy to endure the cross so that those who would experience persecution from full surrender to Him would endure (Hebrews 12:2-3). He told His disciples that those who endure persecution to the end will be saved (Matthew 10:22; 24:13-14).
Why are they satisfied? “Theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:10). Those who endure persecution for full surrender to Christ possess God’s divine reign, rule, and order in their hearts and lives both now and in the future. Jesus said that those who endure insults, persecution, and slander have a great reward in heaven (Matthew 5:11-12). That reward is praise from God based on our intimacy with Him and our relationships with others (1 Corinthians 4:5). Just as persecution and suffering flow from our connection to Christ, so will our comfort flow from Christ, producing endurance in us (2 Corinthians 1:5-6). Paul said that those who endure will reign with Christ in His kingdom; those who disown Christ will be disowned by Him (2 Timothy 2:12; cf. Matthew 10:32-33).
How are they satisfied? They surrender their persecution. Surrender says to God, “I can’t satisfy my desires by giving up. I can’t endure the persecution for my full surrender. You can.” This heart condition results in two behaviors.
First, we must bless those who persecute us, praying for their surrender to Christ (Matthew 5:44). Paul said, “When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it; when we are slandered, we answer kindly” (1 Corinthians 4:12-13).
Second, we must evangelize others to full surrender. Paul confirmed that he had endured persecution for his faith so that others would fully surrender their hearts to Christ (2 Timothy 2:10). He went on to tell Timothy to endure hardship and evangelize (2 Timothy 4:5). Jesus commanded his disciples to preach His gospel of full surrender enduring its subsequent hardships to the end (Matthew 24:13-14). Peter said that when we are persecuted for evangelizing others to full surrender to Christ, we are blessed because the Spirit of God rests on us (1 Peter 4:14). Our desires will be satisfied when we advance Christ’s kingdom of full surrender to the point of enduring persecution.
Surrender your persecution. First, bless anyone who is persecuting you by praying for his surrender to Christ. Endure and answer kindly. Second, evangelize others to full surrender in Christ. Experience the Spirit of God restoring your life.
Left to ourselves, we proudly pursue the satisfaction of our desires apart from God, as we attempt to be designer and restorer of our own lives. Jesus taught satisfaction through surrender to Him. He will reign in our lives when we say to Him, “I can’t. You can.”