But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. And do not fear their intimidation, and do not be troubled, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame. For it is better, if God should will it so, that you suffer for doing what is right rather than for doing what is wrong. 1 Peter 3:14-17
Hollywood and professional sports clubs are known for developing and launching the careers of thousands of talents around the world. Here on the left is a picture of Audrey Hepburn, one of America’s most classic actresses of the early 20th century. By many accounts she would be classified as a chosen or favored actress in American culture as she starred in twenty eight classic films. In the same fashion, athletes like recent Olympic gold medalist, Gabby Douglas, could be classified as a chosen or favored one. The talented starlet was selected to train year round with world renown Liang Chow for the 2012 Olympics at the young age of fourteen. She sacrified the normalcy of the average teen life for rigorous training and time away from her family. Athletes like Gabby endure possible injuries of fractured limbs and concussions with the hope/purpose of winning the trophy (i.e. superbowl, world series, gold medal). In the same way, Believers must be ready to endure possible sufferings for the Faith with the hope/purpose of receiving the trophy of salvation of souls and eternal life. “Our brothers and sisters in China, Ethiopia, Cuba, and others around the world endure sufferings daily including death in order to inherit the Kingdom” – Pastor David J. Smith.
What does Scripture say about being Blessed, Chosen, and Favored?
Job’s children and servants were killed, and his possessions were destroyed (Job 1).
Abel was murdered by his brother Cain (Genesis 4).
Joseph was sold by his brothers into slavery and imprisoned for greater than a decade (Genesis 37).
David a man after God’s own heart suffered the rape of his daughter Tamar by son Amnon and eventual deaths of two sons Amnon and Absalom (2 Samuel 13; 2 Samuel 18).
Abraham and Sarah could not bear their promised son until Abraham was in his 10th decade and Sarah was in her 9th decade of life (Genesis 21).
Andrew of the Twelve was stoned to death (Martyr).
Bartholomew of the Twelve was beaten then crucified (Martyr).
James son of Alphaeus of the Twelve was stoned to death (Martyr).
James son of Zebedee of the Twelve was beheaded (Martyr).
John of the Twelve was exiled and died of old age.
Judas (not Iscariot) was stoned to death (Martyr).
Matthew was speared to death (Martyr).
Peter was crucified upside down (Martyr).
Simon was crucified (Martyr).
Thomas was speared to death (Martyr).
Matthias was stoned to death (Martyr).
Jesus Christ the Son of God was murdered by man (Luke 23).
But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things and the things that are not to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before Him. 1 Corinthians 1:27-29
The prosperity gospel of today seems to omit God’s truth about what it really means to be a Blessed one, a Chosen one, or a Favored one. It does not mean you own the biggest house, biggest boat, platinum jewelry, have a thousand friends, eat the best dinners, run the local government, or dance in the pulpit on dollars donated to the Kingdom of God. No, it actually means you must be ready to suffer up to and not excluding death. It means you may own the smallest house or live in a hut in the Amazon, you may not own a car at all but walk or bike to your destination, you may own no jewelry at all except your wedding band, you may not be popular and have a handful of friends, and you may have no influence with the local government and in fact you maybe on their watch list. Each of the Blessed ones, Chosen ones, or Favored ones in Scripture sacrificed dearly for the faith. Are you a Blessed, Chosen, or Favored One?
And Jesus said to His disciples, “Truly I say to you, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. “Again I say to you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” Matthew 19:23-24
Note from The Author – Apologies to the readers of the original version of this post. This post was rewritten to share God’s Biblical truths but keep in line with the Spirit of Unity not Strife. Grace and Peace in the name of Yeshua. – Amen