Matthew 5:12 says “Be glad and rejoice, because your reward is great in heaven…”
When Jesus gave the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5 He essentially told his followers that the life of one who lives for God is characterized by an expectation of receiving satisfaction in the future…not in the present. It is the life of faith that pleases God, not the life that expects sight now (Hebrews 11:6). Remember what Jesus said to Thomas after He appeared to him while they were in hiding: “Because you have seen Me, you have believed. Those who believe without seeing are blessed” (John 20:29). Jesus made it clear that He wants His followers to trust in what He says and who He is based on His credibility–which is awesome! We take Jesus’ words to the bank based on a handshake alone; we do not wonder if He will follow through. Ironically, when one waits on the Lord IN FAITH they experience His peace which transcends all understanding (Philippians 4:7). We are at peace because we truly trust in Him. We we do not have peace we are missing the trust and are therefore unsatisfied for a totally different reason–it is because our spirit AND our flesh are left wanting. Conversely, if the flesh is left unsatisfied, but the spirit is fulfilled, one can die in peace knowing that their soul will meet God almighty and be eternally loved and taken care of.
If we do not wait IN FAITH, then we will not have peace. That means we will be waiting with a spirit of complaining, of grumbling, and of whining because we are not getting what we think we deserve. We know that God commands us not to live as whiners (Philippians 2:14). Therefore, living IN FAITH means that we consciously understand that we expect to be satisfied at a future date, a day determined by God, and the truth is that the day of our reward may not be until after our death. In fact, we will never be completely satisfied until we reach our final destination–the presence of God.
Understand that it is our humanity that will suffer when we wait IN FAITH. It is our temporary sense of justice, of harmony, of emotion, that suffers when we allow room for God’s work to be done. God calls us to let our earthly nature die and embrace the Spirit of Jesus which has little regard for earthly comfort when God’s truth is at stake. Remember how God the Father treated God the Son: “It was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer…” (Isaiah 53:10).
When we undertake love as a Christ follower we are guaranteed to be persecuted. Our love will often not be received because it sheds light on the failure of people to love God and one another. Those who desire to please God will be encouraged by our love, but those who are enemies of God will punish us because we stand for Him (Matthew 10:22). But remember, the reward comes later. Suffer now and go unsatisfied now–that is living IN FAITH. But when you demonstrate that type of faith, the Spirit of God will minister to you and remind you that you are in God’s will, which will make every suffering worthwhile as it happens. After the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus assured us of this fact.
Matthew 5:11-12 “You are blessed when they insult and persecute you and falsely say every kind of evil against you because of Me. Be glad and rejoice, because your reward is great in heaven. For that is how they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”