The Blessing of Persecution
Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.
Scripture reading: Psalm 119:77-93
How is it that the moment you are filled with the Holy Spirit persecution starts? It was so with the Lord Jesus Himself. We do not read of any persecution before the Holy Spirit came down upon Him like a dove. Shortly after this, we find that after He preached in His hometown, the people wanted to throw Him over the brow of a hill. (See Luke 4:16–30.) It was the same way with the twelve disciples. They had no persecution before the Day of Pentecost, but after they were filled with the Spirit, they were soon in prison. The Devil and the priests of religion will always get disturbed when a man is filled with the Spirit and does things in the power of the Spirit. Nevertheless, persecution is the greatest blessing to a church. When we have persecution, we have purity. If you desire to be filled with the Spirit, you can count on one thing, and that is persecution. The Lord came to bring division (Luke 12:51), and even in your own household you may find “three against two” (v. 52).
At a meeting I was holding, the Lord was working, and many were being healed. A man saw what was taking place and remarked, “I’d like to try this thing.” He came up for prayer and told me that his body was broken in two places. I laid my hands on him in the name of the Lord and said to him, “Now believe God.” The next night he was at the meeting, and he got up like a lion. He said, “I want to tell you people that this man here is deceiving you. He laid his hands on me last night for a rupture in two places, but I’m not a bit better.” I stopped him and said, “You are healed; your trouble is that you won’t believe it.”
He was at the meeting the next night, and when there was opportunity for testimonies, this man arose. He said, “I’m a stonemason by trade. Today I was working with a laborer, and he had to put a big stone in place. I helped him and did not feel any pain. I said to myself, ‘How did I do that?’ I went to a private place where I could take off my clothes, and I found that I was healed.” I told the people, “Last night this man was against the Word of God, but now he believes it. It is true that ‘these signs will follow those who believe…they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover’ (Mark 16:17–18). Healing is through the power that is in the name of Christ.” It is the Spirit who has come to reveal the Word of God and to make it spirit and life to us (John 6:63).
Those of you who are seeking the baptism in the Holy Spirit are entering a place where you will have persecution. Your best friends will leave you—or those you may think are your best friends. No good friend will ever leave you. But be assured that your seeking is worthwhile. You will enter into a realm of illumination, a realm of revelation by the power of the Holy Spirit. He reveals the preciousness and the power of the blood of Christ. I find by the revelation of the Spirit that there is not one thing in me that the blood does not cleanse (1 John 1:9). I find that God sanctifies me by the blood and reveals the effectiveness of His work by the Spirit.
Thought for today: The Lord Jesus gives you peace, but soon after you get peace within, you get persecution without. If you remain stationary, the Devil and his agents will not disturb you much. But when you press on and go the whole length with God, the Enemy has you as a target. But God will vindicate you in the midst of the whole thing.
Excerpted from Smith Wigglesworth Devotional by Smith Wigglesworth, © 1999 by Whitaker House. Published by Whitaker House, New Kensington, PA. Used with permission. All rights reserved. www.whitakerhouse.com.
Smith Wigglesworth Devotional: 365 Day Devotional
By Whitaker House
Smith Wigglesworth was a man who took God at his word, and God used his faith as a model for others. Explore these daily truths from Scripture and the writings of the Apostle of Faith, and you’ll quench your spiritual thirst, conquer defeating fears, be an effective soul winner, and see impossibilities turn into realities. 558 pages.