Blessed to be a witness for the Lord:
The opportunity to represent Jesus Christ before the world is a great blessing in our lives. The opportunity to speak to even one person on the job, on the street, or in your neighborhood should be grasped. It means God trusts you with this, even if you feel like your speech is stumbling and your words are not noteworthy. The opportunity to live a Christian life before non-Christians; to be upright in your business dealings and compassionate in your treatment of others, and to proclaim Christ as your reason for bucking the trends of the world in this, this is your bold witness.
Blessed to labor for the Lord:
Paul counted himself profoundly blessed to be chosen by God to take the gospel of the Jews to the Gentile nations. Himself a persecutor of the church, until Jesus himself pulled him put up short, he thought himself as one of the least worthy of this honor. He was astonished that God entrusted him with this honor despite his past.
If the Lord God has put you in a position to preach or teach the gospel, to ably administrate in support of a church, organization or ministry, or to provide for those who carry the gospel or those who are in need, then you are have been blessed to carry on his work in your time.
Blessed to suffer for the Lord:
“Have you taken note of the righteousness of my servant, Job?” the Lord God asked the devil. (Job 1:8) And the story of Job’s suffering and eventual vindication blesses the world well beyond his lifetime. Job’s emotional and physical pains were evidence of God’s faith in Job’s faith. God knew Job’s faith wasn’t based on the material things God had given him, and he gave Job the opportunity to prove it to the devil and to the world.
In the early church, the apostles were arrested for preaching the gospel and healing the sick. (Acts 5:14-16) They were ordered not to speak in the name of Jesus and beaten. “And [the apostles] departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.” (Acts 5:41)
Rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer! It’s a blessing to know that God believes in you, that you will not deny him when the world comes up against you.
Blessed to die for the Lord:
I consider this the ultimate blessing.
Perpetua, a wealthy, young, new mother and a Christian in the African city of Carthage, was arrested for her faith and sentenced to face death in the arena. She would not recant her Christianity, but instead rejoiced that she was counted worthy to suffer and even die for her Savior. Her diary while she was imprisoned indicated that the Lord encouraged her in her dreams. “Then I awoke, and perceived that I was not to fight with beasts, but against the devil. Still I knew that the victory was awaiting me.”
Hebrews 11:35 tells us that “Women received their dead raised to life again: and others were tortured, not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better resurrection:”
The Revelation of Jesus Christ himself tells us of martyrs who “were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held…” They reside under the heavenly altar and, when the fifth seal is opened, are given white robes and told to wait a little while until those who killed them are judged and they are avenged. These are among those honored in the first resurrection, and who will reign with Christ on this earth for a thousand years. (Rev. 20:4-5)
Jesus himself pronounced blessings upon the poor in spirit, those that mourn, and the peacemakers. (You can’t be a peacemaker unless you’re caught in the middle of a brawl.) He blessed those that were persecuted for righteousness’ sake. He said that we are blessed when men revile us and persecute us and say all manner of evil things against us falsely, all because they are attacking him.
We are told to rejoice and be exceedingly glad in these times. Jesus reminds us that when we suffer in this world for his sake, it is not because God is not blessing us. It is because he is!