The greatest sermon ever is Jesus sitting down on the mountainside and teaching the disciples and the crowds that followed Him. He talked about the “poor in spirit, those who mourn, the gentle, those who thirst and hunger for righteousness. He praised the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers, and those who are persecuted” He ended with: “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.” Matthew 5:11-12 Everything He talked to the disciples and the crowd about goes against the grain of teaching of the world. Yet we have to wonder, ‘Why did the Lord, teach a life of suffering and persecution, of humility instead of pride, of hungering for righteousness instead of hungering for the things that ambition provides for the eager soul? Why not encourage us to stand against persecution and fight it, looking for the heroes that bravely fight others to win the war of aggression against the faith? But rather He chose to teach and to encourage humility even in the face of suffering. He chose to teach us to give to the one who wants to take from us, and to stand the ground of suffering for persecution if our lives called for that. To be ready to suffer if called to suffer. To endure persecution when we face it. Why does He face us with the calls for endurance to be given a reward in heaven and not on this earth? Do you suppose that in heaven, we will be in a place where there is true peace, where humility is the way of life, and where righteousness is a normal part of the routine of the day? Do you suppose that this is just a proving ground for eternity? Do you think that God is preparing each of us to strive for the things in this life that truly matter, and that are the things of mercy, grace, humility, love, righteousness? Those who have the Holy Spirit living in them, who know Jesus as Lord, and who believe with their hearts, understand that the life Jesus called us to live, is the life that He endured for us. It is the life He gave to us as an example of what true happiness is all about. You see, it’s about God, and what He put us on this earth for.